For British Business, UAE Serves As a Natural Home

On Wednesday, during the fifth UK-UAE Joint Economic Committee (JEC) meeting in London, Britain’s International Trade Secretary Liam Fox stated that the UAE is a “natural home for British business in the Middle East”

The JEC meeting was the first event of its kind and is in its fourth year. The meeting was held at Standard Chartered bank’s headquarters in the City of London.

At the summit, the two nations stated that they would to continue expand UK Export Finance’s (UKEF) £9 billion (Dh42.55bn) market capacity to back British exports and investment into the UAE. The funds can be used to endorse deals for UK companies running in the UAE. In the past three financial years, UKEF has offered £1.2bn in support for projects in the Emirates, and this engagement and promise would help bolster further uptake of the support on offer.

The government to government meeting, headed by the UK’s Baroness Rona Fairhead, witnessed a wide-ranging argument on bilateral trade and investment, Expo 2020 Dubai, and ways to boost market access and strengthen cooperation on standards.

During the meeting, the two governments conceded to develop a new economic partnership statement, which will set out a mutually agreed access to augmenting the UK-UAE trade and investment relationship.

Mr Fox stated that the UK’s links to the UAE were “deep”; citing that around 100,000 UK nationals live in the Emirates and 1 million UK tourists visited Dubai during the first half of 2018. He pointed that the British government is on stand-by to back those companies who are looking to enter the UAE market.

Total trade in goods and services (exports as well as imports) between the UK and UAE was £16.3bn in the four quarters to the end of Q3 2018. FDI from the UAE in the UK was £5.4bn in 2017, 26.3% higher than in 2016.