MENAFN | 29 May 2023
British Secretary of State emphasizes progress in GCC-UK free trade agreement negotiations
(MENAFN) Kemi Badenoch, the recently appointed British Secretary of State for Business and Trade, has expressed optimism about the ongoing negotiations for a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)-UK free trade agreement. During her visit to Riyadh as part of a five-day tour of GCC member states, Badenoch highlighted the potential groundbreaking nature of the agreement and its significance in shaping the GCC’s trade relations with the rest of the world.
Speaking about the progress made in the talks, Badenoch stated that they were proceeding well, with a strong focus on the substance of the deal. She emphasized the mutual benefits that both parties aim to achieve and expressed a commitment to continue advancing the negotiations to reach a fruitful conclusion.
Badenoch’s visit to the region, which also includes meetings in Qatar and the UAE, aims to provide comprehensive engagement and support for the ongoing negotiations. In her new role as Secretary of State for Business and Trade, she expressed the importance of fostering strong business ties and facilitating the conclusion of the free trade agreement.
While trade is a key focus of the discussions, Badenoch highlighted that the visit encompasses broader aspects of business cooperation. It aims to identify opportunities, enhance trade, and address market access barriers, reflecting the multifaceted nature of free trade agreements.
Acknowledging the complexity of the negotiations and the agreement process, Badenoch emphasized the importance of both sides actively seeking opportunities to improve trade and business prospects. The ongoing talks represent a significant step forward in deepening economic ties between the GCC and the UK, and the negotiations hold the potential to set a precedent for future trade relations with other regions.
As the negotiations progress, all parties involved will continue to work towards a comprehensive and mutually beneficial agreement that supports economic growth, enhances market access, and fosters stronger ties between the GCC and the UK.