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British Business Group upbeat on UAE trade

Dubai, July 14, 2007

Two major developments in the UAE business world have put the spotlight once again on the growing commercial relationship between the Emirates and the UK, a British business leader said.

Mark Beer, newly-elected chairman of the British Business Group in Dubai, welcomed new figures released by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Dubai chamber) showing that the UAE was the UK’s largest trading partner in the Gulf in 2006.

Beer said that the increasing importance of these business ties had been further underlined by the recently announced appointment of Sir John Parker, vice-chairman of DP World and chairman of British utility company National Grid, to the Business Council for Britain by new British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

According to Dubai Chamber's figures, revealed in a recent report, 56 per cent of the UK’s exports to the GCC region last year went to the UAE, equating to £3.6 billion worth of goods.

By contrast the share for other GCC countries was 24 per cent for Saudi Arabia, secen per cent each for Qatar and Kuwait and 3 per cent each for Bahrain and Oman. Out of the UAE’s total around 80 per cent was destined for Dubai.

The UAE also supplied around one third of the region’s total £3.3 billion worth of exports to the UK. The UAE exported £1 billion to the UK, coming a close second to Saudi Arabia, which exported £1.1 billion. Again Dubai accounted for the lion’s share of the UAE’s total exports to the UK supplying 66 per cent, compared with 18 per cent for Abu Dhabi and 16 per cent for the other emirates combined.

 “These figures are further evidence of the increasingly strong commercial relationship between the UK and the UAE, and Dubai in particular,” said Beer.

“The UAE is attracting growing attention from the British Government, a fact underlined by its announcement last year that the country has been identified as one of its ten key ‘emerging markets’ where the UK is keen to deepen trade and investment relations.”

“The appointment of Sir John Parker, Chairman of Britain’s National Grid and Vice Chairman of the Dubai Government-owned global marine terminal operator DP World, to the Business Council for Britain could be seen as further strengthening of the ties between the two countries,” he said.

The newly-formed council is comprised of a number of senior British business leaders and has been established to advise the Prime Minister on matters relating to enterprise and the British economy.

The British Business Group, Dubai & Northern Emirates, more usually known as the BBG, was set up in 1987 to encourage the development of British business in the UAE and now has more than 900 members. It undertakes a wide range of activities from communicating with decision makers and testing British goods to sharing best business practice and arranging networking events for its members.TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Britain | British Business Group | Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry |

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