After Brexit, the UK is looking for new trade partnerships and seems to be finding it in the Middle East. New agreements are to be forged in talks with several Gulf states.
Great Britain and the six member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council want to negotiate a free trade agreement. The Minister of Industry of Bahrain, Sajed bin Raschid al-Sajani, announced this on behalf of the alliance. The UK government initially spoke of “14-day consultations” with the public and businesses. The official negotiations should begin in 2022.
The British Minister for Foreign Trade, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, called a trade agreement with the Gulf States a “great opportunity” for British companies. The core areas are the food industry, digital services and renewable energies. It is also about “deepening relations with a region that is of vital importance to our strategic interests,” said Trevelyan.
In addition to Bahrain, the Gulf Cooperation Council also includes Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman. Trade between the UK and these countries was over £ 30 billion (€ 35 billion) last year, according to the UK government. Since leaving the EU, the British government has actively sought new trade agreements with a number of countries and groups of states.