At the beginning of October, the UK launched a 14-week consultation process largely seen as preparation for a free trade deal with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The formal negotiations with GCC member states (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) are scheduled to start in 2022.
Through these consultations, the UK government hopes to engage the wider business community and initiate a public debate in order to “gather information from participants about their experiences and priorities when doing business with countries in the GCC.”
Benefits for both sides
A new free trade agreement could provide many opportunities for British companies in the fields of renewable energy, digital and financial services, education and healthcare. The agreement could also bring lucrative benefits to British farmers and food producers as the Gulf region is highly dependent on food imports...
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