British Prime Minister David Cameron recently announced that the UK and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will work towards achieving an “ambitious” new trade goal. Dr Abdulrahman Al Ansari reviews.
Boosting trade Regional news portal Gulf Daily Online reports that according to Cameron, the UAE-UK Business Council hopes to boost annual trade to US$35.3 billion (bn) by 2020. This new target was set, suggested global research consultancy Oxford Business Group (OBG), after the Council reached its previous yearly trade goal two years early.
Cameron revealed this new trade target while writing an article on UK-UAE relations, which will feature in upcoming OBG reports on Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Writing on the value of UK-UAE trade, Cameron said: “Trade between the Gulf and the UK was worth US$33bn in 2014 – more than our trade with India or China… The UAE is our 14th biggest export market. The Gulf’s prosperity is also our prosperity.”
Cameron noted that the UAE and the UK are increasingly relying on each other to promote economic prosperity within their respective borders. During the article, he explained: “British businesses, institutions and individuals have contributed a huge amount to the extraordinary development of the UAE into the increasingly diversified hub which it has become. And the UAE has become an increasingly important investor in the UK.”
The British Prime Minister went on to suggest that there are many upcoming opportunities which will allow the UK and the UAE to form lucrative partnerships in the future. He also argued that it is vital that the UK implements joint efforts with Gulf nations to combat terrorism and other prominent issues on a regional level. Elaborating, Cameron said that British security and Gulf security are “intimately linked,” so co-operation can provide a number of key benefits.
Explaining further, he said: “It would be foolish to deny the challenges which confront the UK and the Gulf – the security threats, the oil price, headwinds in the major emerging economies… But these are challenges which we can meet together, and from which we can create opportunities.”
Encouraging foreign investment
In October 2015, UAE Minister of Economy Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri revealed that his country has attracted over US$100bn in foreign investment during the past decade. As global oil prices, a major traditional source of revenue for the UAE, keep falling, the country is making attracting foreign direct investment a priority. With this revenue the Middle Eastern nation can, according to European CEO,
continue developing its non-oil economy. In 2014 the non-oil industry contributed 68.6% to the UAE’s GDP; the country hopes to increase this contribution to as high as 80% by 2021.
In order to achieve this goal, the Emirates needs to incentivise prominent individuals and companies from major economies such as the UK to do business within its borders. Cameron’s announcement that the UK-UAE Business Council aims to boost annual investment to US$35.3bn by 2020 implies that the UAE is cultivating the environment needed to promote foreign investment.
About Abdulrahman Al Ansari
Abdulrahman Al Ansari has more than 18 years of experience in the global financial services industry. He serves as the chairman of a number of reputable financial firms including AMA Investment Holding and Bid Capital Management Consultancy.
Abdulrahman’s professional portfolio encompasses a diverse range of sectors from commodities and natural resources to education, healthcare, oil & gas and investment banking. He has earned a reputation as an innovator, who consistently develops new ideas and solutions to address the complex and demanding challenges which confront his clients every day. Over the years, Abdulrahman has cultivated a special interest in the continued economic and community development of the UAE.