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    Simon Penney provides update on UK trade with the Gulf

    Published On: 10 May 2022

    The UK Trade Commissioner to the Middle East, Simon Penney, updated Asia House Corporate Members today on the UK’s engagement with the region and its ongoing work towards a free trade agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

    Speaking from Dubai, Penney outlined how the UK was building relations with individual Gulf states, and shared the latest developments as it looks towards an FTA with the GCC. The Trade Commissioner also shared his thoughts on broader trends in the region, including its approach to the energy transition.

    Asia House Corporate Members joined the session from around the world, taking the opportunity to engage with a key figure shaping UK trade policy in the Gulf. Penney was asked about the impact of the proposed FTA on financial services, digital innovation, and alcohol exports, as well as the timeline for negotiating a deal. He was also asked about the GCC’s aims for an FTA, the prospects of the UK taking a more bilateral approach to regional trade, and the opportunities for UK-Gulf cooperation in Asian markets.

    The impact of current geopolitical tensions on UK engagement with the Middle East was also discussed in the off-the-record briefing, chaired by Asia House Chief Executive Michael Lawrence.

    The briefing, convened as part of the Asia House Middle East Programme, gave Corporate Members unique insights into one of the UK’s priority markets.

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