UK and UAE, KSA trade agreements could be ‘hammered out’ this year

SourceArabian Business

As the pace of post-Brexit UK-Gulf trade activity and investment continues to ramp up, official free trade agreements (FTAs) could be signed by the end of the year, according to experts.

Referring to the GBP800 million UAE life sciences commitment to the UK’s Sovereign Investment Partnership (SIP) in March and the recent confirmation by UK Middle East trade officials to Arabian Business of upcoming “billion dollar deals” in clean energy, Wes Schwalje, a Gulf-government advisor and COO of research firm Tahseen Consulting, said: “It seems likely that free trade agreements will be hammered out by the end of the year with both the UAE and Saudi Arabia. There is a lot of political capital being spent now on getting to the finish line on a free-trade agreement.”

UK Trade Secretary Liz Truss, who is leading Britain’s global FTA programme, was in the UAE and Saudi Arabia last month to work on the UK-GCC Joint Trade and Investment Review, following the more...