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HomeAll ArticlesUAE / UK Bilateral Trade Hits GBP 12 Billion 2 years early

UAE / UK Bilateral Trade Hits GBP 12 Billion 2 years early

Figures released by the UK’s Office for National Statistics show that bilateral trade between the UAE and UK reached £12.36 billion in 2013.

Figures released by the UK’s Office for National Statistics on 31st October show that bilateral trade between the UAE and UK reached £12.36 billion (AED 72bn) in 2013. This means that the £12 billion (AED 70bn) target for 2015, which the two governments set in 2009, has been met and surpassed two years ahead of the deadline.

When the target was set in late 2009, bilateral trade stood at £7.5 billion a year. So great strides have been made in a very short time.

The increase has been achieved across a wide range of sectors including energy, financial and professional services, education, healthcare and infrastructure, as well as defence and aerospace.

The UAE-UK Business Council, which was created in 2011, took the lead in working towards this target. The Business Council’s mission is to increase bilateral trade and investment, and to help and encourage UK companies do business in the UAE and vice versa, and to identify opportunities for UK/UAE cooperation in third markets.

Commenting after the release of the figures, His Excellency Ambassador Abdulrahman Ghanem Almutaiwee CVO, the UAE’s Ambassador to the UK said:

The UAE UK bilateral relationship has gone from strength to strength in the past years, this is only a building block to our longstanding relationship dated from the 1950’s. Thanks to our ministers and the co-chairmen of the UAE-UK business council, their hard work and efforts have assisted all parties in reaching our target of £12 billion before 2015. This success should motivate businesses in the UAE and the UK to take advantage in exploring potential business opportunities and partnerships in the future.

Mr Philip Parham, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the UAE commented:

I am delighted that we have already achieved our ambitious target of increasing bilateral UK-UAE trade to £12 billion a year – two years ahead of schedule. This demonstrates the depth and breadth of the UK’s relationship with the UAE, which became the tenth biggest export market for British goods in 2013. Emirati exports to the UK have also grown significantly.

“But we should strive to boost trade and investment between the UK and UAE even further. The British Government will work hard with the UAE Government and the members of the UK-UAE Business Council to achieve that.

“The UK provides one of the most business-friendly environments in the world, which has been attracting major UAE investments. Hundreds of British companies have established operations in the UAE, and we look forward to helping many more do business and set up in market through the recently launched British Centre for Business in Dubai with Abu Dhabi to follow next year. These investment ties create wealth for both countries, and in turn stimulate increasing levels of trade. We will continue to do all we can to encourage them.”

Mr Samir Brikho, co-chair of the UAE-UK Business Council said:

I am delighted that we have hit our 2015 trade and investment target in 2013. We must now recalibrate and set ourselves further challenging goals for 2015 and beyond. The UAE-UK Business Council is proving to be a really dynamic engine for growth between our two countries.

At the first UK-UAE Joint Economic Committee meeting in London in October 2009, the two governments agreed to increase trade by 60% from the 2009 levels to £12 billion (AED 70 billion) by 2015.

The figures were revealed in the UK Office for National Statistics “pink book” dealing with imports and exports for 2013. This was released on 31st October 2014. The delay between the year end and the publication was to allow the ONS to implement the BPM6 (‘Balance of Payments International Investment Position Manual 6th edition’) changes that were introduced in September 2014. These are changes to the way Balance of Payments statistics are measured internationally.

The seventh UAE-UK Business Council took place in Dubai on 20th October bringing together business leaders from the UK and UAE to further drive commercial ties between the two countries.

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