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  • The Centre of Expertise on Trade,
    Investment and Public Policy

    Simon Penney assesses impact of oil price collapse and COVID-19 on the Gulf

    Published On: 4 May 2020

    As the UK’s third-largest export market, the nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) represent a key region for Britain’s post-Brexit trade strategy. But with the Middle East facing an array of challenges, from the COVID-19 pandemic to the collapse of oil prices, the region’s future remains uncertain.

    These issues were the focus of a digital briefing with Simon Penney, Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for the Middle East, who updated Asia House Corporate Members on the latest developments in the Gulf.

    In an informative discussion, Penney outlined the shifts in trade flows in the GCC, and provided analysis on the region’s expected economic trajectory. The impact of coronavirus, both in and beyond the Middle East, was also discussed, including a potential refocusing of the regions’ ‘Vision’ strategies and the implications of a fall in remittances.

    The collapse in oil prices and the GCC’s responses to the current volatility were also considered.

    Members of Asia House’s global network joined the digital briefing from locations around the world, with Penney taking a range of questions from Corporate Members.

    The briefing, held on 4 May 2020, was convened as part of the Asia House Middle East Programme, and moved the global trade conversation forward from Penney’s previous appearance at the Asia House Middle East Trade Dialogue in Riyadh earlier this year.

    Asia House is running a series of digital events to keep its global network informed during the coronaviurs crisis. View upcoming events