Ridyah, Saudi Arabia, where negotiations started

In June the Department for International Trade announced that it had begun trade negotiations with the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries to establish a new free trade agreement (FTA).

The GCC includes the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia, some key economies providing many opportunities for UK exporters.

This is the 4th major talk to be launched this year by the UK’s Trade Secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, following the beginning of free trade negotiations with India, Canada and Mexico.

You can read more about the start of trade negotiations with Mexico here and what the deal could mean for your eCommerce business.

Dubai Marina, The UAE, Forming a key member of the GCC

Why is the free trade agreement with GCC countries a great opportunity?

An expected increase in trade

With the removal of cross broader barriers, the UK government estimates that the deal will increase trade by up to 16%.

Benefits for UK exporters

The FTA negotiations have been sparked by Trevelyan in favour of the UK. This means that the deal will seek to benefit UK businesses, consumers and producers, providing many new opportunities.

Demand for international goods from the GCC bloc is forecast to increase

By 2035 demand for international goods is anticipated to increase by 35%.

Pre-established relationships

The GCC bloc is the UK’s 7th largest export market and 4th largest outside of the EU. Therefore, businesses have already established themselves within the market, identifying the demand and ease of trade.

This is particularly the case for SMEs who in 2020 accounted for 85% of exports to the GCC bloc.

Supporting a sustainable future

The new agreement will aim to alleviate GCC countries’ reliance on oil and encourage movement into other economies.

By 2050 The UAE has set itself a target to use renewable sources for half of its electricity generation, showing a commitment to change for the sake of the planet.

Boost the UK economy

We are all too familiar with the state of the economy currently. Fuel prices are increasing, consumer spending is down, retail business closures are up and over 1 in 5 are borrowing more money (Office for National Statistics, 2022).

This new trade agreement could be the breath of fresh air the UK needed, with the deal set to add a minimum of £1.6 billion to the economy of the UK.


Qatar, a member of the GCC

Access GCC countries with MHI

According to Deloitte businesses should seize the opportunity presented by the GCC bloc, regardless of the outcome of the negotiations. This is because trade between the two markets is already increasing and will continue to do so either way.  

Therefore, the time to start acting on this is now. Thankfully at MHI we have your back with an already established route into The UAE, GCC and Northern Africa.

Currently topping our ‘What’s Hot’ list of sizzling export opportunities, we have a fantastic service on offer with an incredible 97% on-time delivery.

Find out more about this service and how you can make this export opportunity a reality: Access GCC countries