Credit By:GULF BUSSINESS
Kemi Badenoch, the recently appointed British Secretary of State for Business and Trade, has emphasised the development of the UK-Gulf Cooperation Council free trade deal. On Wednesday, the politician made her remarks while in Riyadh as part of a five-day tour of GCC nations. We are delighted about the GCC-UK free trade agreement, she told Arab News. It has the potential to be highly innovative and set the standard for how the GCC interacts with the rest of the globe. Regarding the negotiations’ state, she stated: “It is going well, and we are focused very much on the substance of the deal, and we will continue to move and progress that in order to have a conclusion which will be of mutual benefit to all of the parties.” Meetings will also occur in the UAE and Qatar during Badenoch’s trip. “Negotiations are still going on. Additionally, I wanted to make sure I had a thorough visit since I was recently named the secretary of state for business and commerce,” she stated.
Her visit was not solely centred on commerce but also “around business and helping to facilitate the conclusion of that FTA.” “With every free trade agreement, both sides look for opportunities they can have to improve trade, improve businesses, and remove barriers to market access,” she continued. Badenoch emphasised the difficulty of the contracting and negotiation processes.
Before arriving in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, Badenoch started her trip in Qatar, where she met with ministers and took part in the Qatar Economic Forum. While in the Kingdom, she met with Dr Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi, the commerce minister. “The GCC free trade deal is intriguing because it involves six countries, making it much more complicated because what one government wants might not be the same as what another one wants”. “We need to make accommodations.
We must agree. Additionally, only some things are feasible. So, the reason for coming here is to gain a greater understanding of what is politically possible, according to her. Before arriving in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, Badenoch started her trip in Qatar, where she met with ministers and took part in the Qatar Economic Forum. She continued, “I’ve had a lot of highly fruitful discussions with businessmen and ministries here. While in the Kingdom, she met with Dr Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi, the commerce minister. “It was a fantastic encounter. He was instrumental. It was an honour to be invited by him because he is a significant force behind most of the business activity in Saudi Arabia, she remarked.
About pace, scheduling, and recognising which issues were on and off the table, Badenoch noted that things were falling into place as he addressed Gulf trade with Minister of Investment Khalid Al-Falih. “I’m quite happy with the advancements we’ve made. It’s also a testament to the British negotiating team, the GCC negotiating team, and the senior negotiators in each of the participating nations,” she continued. She stated that she could not discuss the specifics of the discussions due to market sensitivity and confidentiality concerns. For the UK, signing that agreement with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, one of our top 10 markets, would assist in advancing this objective
A memorandum of agreement on vital minerals that will support the transition to sustainable energy was signed between Saudi Arabia and the UK during her visit to Saudi Arabia. The signing of that letter with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, one of our top 10 markets, to forward this agenda, according to Badenoch, is a significant victory for the UK. It will be very crucial for a lot of the work we’re doing in our transition from renewable energy to net zero. The supply chain is changing regarding essential minerals and innovative manufacturing, and robust supply networks are critically necessary to accomplish that. Bandar Al-Khorayef, minister of industry and mineral resources, signed the agreement, she noted. It was a productive and quick meeting. Additionally, it served as a simple illustration of how simple it is to conduct business in this nation and recognise the other party’s needs right away. The UK ambassador to Saudi Arabia hosted a reception for Saudi companies investing in the UK and British companies working and investing in the Kingdom on Wednesday at his residence.
While in the Kingdom, she met with Dr Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi, the commerce minister.
“I’ve had the chance to hear directly from people about the kinds of projects they are working on and their experiences working in Saudi Arabia. And every one of them has been fantastic,” Badenoch remarked.
She emphasised the significance of making introductions and developing connections that may impact future partnerships and collaborations.
She was scheduled to attend meetings in the UAE on Thursday. “Since I’m here, I can interact with the companies that are present. International companies, not just British ones but all over the world. What is their background? “And where the UK, whether on the business or government side, can help to facilitate or can collaborate with them with either the Saudi government or with businesses based in Saudi, just to deliver that same goal that both countries have, which is to drive economic growth,” Badenoch continued.