UK to further boost trade and investment relations with UAE

DUBAI — The British government has reiterated its commitment to deepen trade and investment relations with the UAE, following the appointment of an official in a Dubai government-owned company to a newly formed business council in the UK.

By Jose Franco

Published: Sun 15 Jul 2007, 9:41 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 10:20 PM

Sir John Parker, vice-chairman of Dubai Ports World (DP World), one of the world's largest marine terminal operators, and chairman of the British utility company, National Grid, was appointed to the Business Council for Britain by new UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

"The appointment could be seen as further strengthening of the ties between the two countries," said Mark Beer, newly elected chairman of the British Business Group (BBG) in Dubai and Northern Emirates.

In a statement, the BBG said the new council is composed of a number of British business leaders tasked to advise Brown on "matters relating to enterprise and the British economy".

Ian Giulianotti, membership director at BBG, said Dubai is becoming a "focal point" in the business world, what with its government creating an atmosphere of economic stability and several economic free zones extending 100 per cent ownership to foreign firms.

"It's always easy to do business here, especially with the advent of e-government," he said. "Dubai's growth has been fantastic, presenting so many opportunities in the financial, construction and service sectors."

Beer said he welcomes recent reports that the UAE was UK's largest trading partner in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) in 2006.

Earlier, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) said that last year the UAE supplied one-third of GCC's total exports of Dh24.65 billion to the UK. It also said that the UAE exported Dh7.47 billion to the UK in the same year.

The DCCI said Dubai contributed 66 per cent, 10 per cent of which involves petroleum oils, to UK's total imports of Dh7.56 billion from the UAE in 2006. It added that Abu Dhabi's share was 18 per cent while the five other emirates of Ajman, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain had a combined share of 16 per cent.

"These figures are further evidence of the increasingly strong commercial relationship between the UK and the UAE, and Dubai in particular," Beer said. "The UAE is attracting growing attention from the British Government, a fact underlined by its announcement last year that the country has been indentified as one of its 10 key 'emerging markets' where the UK is keen to deepen trade and investment relations."

Giulianotti said the over 900 individual and company members of the BBG are interested to cultivate further trade and business relations with their UAE counterparts in all sectors, particularly oil and gas.

Established in 1987, the BBG encourages the development of British business in the UAE. It also facilitates bilateral trade and supports investors from both countries wanting to do business with each other.

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