Dubai: Bilateral trade between the UAE and the UK reached £12.36 billion (Dh72 billion) in 2013. This means that the £12 billion (Dh70 billion) target for 2015, which the two governments set in 2009, has been met and surpassed two years ahead of the deadline.
According to latest data released by the UK’s Office for National Statistics, 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.
Bilateral trade stood at £7.5 billion a year in 2009. At the first UK-UAE Joint Economic Committee meeting in London in October 2009, the two governments agreed to increase trade by 60 per cent from the 2009 levels to £12 billion by 2015.
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.
Abdulrahman Ghanem Almutaiwee, 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 long standing 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.”
Philip Parham, UK Ambassador to the UAE, said: “I am delighted that we have already achieved our ambitious target of increasing bilateral UK-UAE trade to £12 billion annually — 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.”
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.”
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