RIYADH: British and Arab businesses and investors will strengthen regional synergies and business collaborations to address geopolitical scenarios and the inflationary climate plaguing the global economy.
As part of the Arab-British Economic Summit in London on November 2, the Asia British Chamber of Commerce, a joint Saudi-British council, will hold its second meeting in the city, with prominent leaders collaborating, discussing and considering vital issues to develop economic relations between the United Kingdom and the 22 nations of the Arab world.
Themed “Shaping a Shared Vision”, the event will welcome business owners and investors from the UK and the Arab world, united in the hope of building a prosperous future.
It will begin with a welcome speech by Elizabeth Symons, President of the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce, followed by a speech by the Secretary General and CEO of the ABCC, Dr Bandar Reda.
“The huge response at the summit would give momentum to building stronger relations between the UK and the Arabs,” Symons said.
The gathering will address topics ranging from climate change and health issues to innovative education and the fintech revolution.
This year, the meeting will explore the power of technology and how it can transform financial services and banking.
This decision is significant given the political and trade imbalances that have swept several economies. The UK’s trade deficit widened to £7.1bn ($8.1bn) in August, according to the Office for National Statistics, from a downwardly revised £5.4bn the preceding month.
In August, UK imports excluding precious metals increased by £3.1bn or 5.7%, driven by a £3.5bn increase in higher non-EU imports of fuel, machinery and transport equipment.
Total exports, excluding precious metals, rose by £400m or 1.2% in the same month, driven by a £700m rise in non-EU exports, while exports to the EU fell £300m or 1.5%.
According to the UN Comtrade International Trade Database, exports of goods from West Asia and North Africa to the UK increased by 47.8% to $1.595 billion in 2021.
The region’s imports rose 22.1% to $1,291.9 billion that year.
The trade balance recorded a surplus of $293.8 billion in 2021, compared to a surplus of $14.8 billion the previous year.
According to data from the Department of International Trade, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are the main Arab countries in British trade.
The UK traded £13.6 billion worth of goods and services with the UAE in the year to the first quarter of 2022, representing 1% of total UK trade, positioning itself as its 24th business partner.
Saudi Arabia, the 27th largest trading partner with 0.8% of the UK’s total trade, released the data. Its total trade stood at £11.3 billion in the year ending in the first quarter of 2022.
Qatar’s and Kuwait’s total trade with the UK over the same period was £6.2 billion and £2.4 billion, respectively. Similarly, Oman’s and Bahrain’s total trade with the UK was £1.1 billion and £889 million, respectively.
Free Trade Opportunity
The UK also launched a free trade agreement in Riyadh with Gulf Cooperation Council countries in June this year, opening up investment and employment opportunities and increasing the flow of goods and services.
As the UK’s seventh-largest export market, the Gulf’s demand for international goods and services is expected to grow by 35% by 2035 to reach £800 billion.
“Today marks the next important milestone in our five-star trade year as we strengthen the UK’s close relationship with the Gulf,” UK Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said on the day of the deal. .
Stephen Phipson, CEO of Make UK, the manufacturers’ organisation, said: “We welcome the launch of free trade negotiations with the Gulf Cooperation Council, which will ensure that UK industry benefits from future positive flows of goods. and services in the Gulf region. ”
In addition to trade, the economic summit will also analyze the consequences of global warming and the measures to be taken to counter it.
This summit aims to tackle the new obstacles that arise in a post-pandemic and post-Brexit world. It will achieve this by strengthening trade ties and promoting bilateral investment flows.
More importantly, it will address the importance of achieving this through sustainable and environmentally friendly means.
The 2019 Arab-British Economic Summit was an incredible success as it acted as a catalyst between interested investors and entrepreneurs.
Additionally, the speakers addressed pre-existing challenges such as youth unemployment, water scarcity and other economic barriers that were prevalent in the Middle East and Arab regions. They also offered solutions on how Anglo-Arab cooperation could reduce them.
In addition, he highlighted the potential for major projects in the region through collaboration between the UK and Arab countries.