- Greg Hands MP, in his capacity as Trade Minister, had a very positive visit to Qatar and Bahrain.
- Good progress was made on a trade deal with the GCC in Qatar.
- Greg had a productive discussion with British business owners based in Bahrain about how the Government can help and what they’d like to see from the UK-GCC FTA.
Greg Hands MP, in his capacity as Trade Minister, had a very positive visit to Qatar and Bahrain earlier this week, to spur on the trade negotiations between the UK and the Gulf Co-Operation Council (GCC).
Greg gained some great insight from businesses and GCC ministers on how this deal can work for all parties involved. UK businesses export more to only the US, EU & China, so a deal is important to UK exports.
The first stop on Greg’s visit to the Gulf was Qatar, where good progress has been made on a trade deal with the GCC. It is important to deepen economic ties which benefit both parties and could boost trade by 16%, adding £2.8 billion to our economy. Greg was also delighted to meet Minister Sheikh Mohammed to discuss the ongoing UK-GCC Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations.
Listening to the views of businesses is vital when it comes to trade agreements, and Greg was therefore happy to catch up with the Qatar Business Association to hear at first hand how our UK-GCC FTA will help businesses in both markets.
In Bahrain, Greg was greeted by the Deputy Minister for Commerce. Bahrain is an important GCC member and a big supporter of the UK-GCC Free Trade Agreement. Representatives of British businesses based in Bahrain were invited to report about the challenges and opportunities faced by UK companies in Bahrain. Greg had a productive discussion with these British business owners about how the Government can help and what they want to see from a UK-GCC FTA.
This meeting was followed by a fascinating visit to the Konexus Aluminium Rod Mil which is a superb example of a UK enterprise thriving in Bahrain.
Greg also found it a huge honour to meet Prince Salman Bin Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa, Prime Minister of Bahrain to explore the substantial opportunities a UK-GCC trade deal presents.
Commenting, Greg Hands said:
“In the United Kingdom, we are working on consolidating our relations with important countries, such as the State of Qatar and all Gulf and African countries and other economic partners to enhance the prospects for economic and trade co-operation for the country.
I want to bring a clear message to our partners in Qatar that the United Kingdom looks forward to co-operating with the Qatari Businessmen Association to attract more investments and we now have a great opportunity to strengthen our position in an increasingly interconnected world.”