UK, GCC may sign post-Brexit trade deal this year, Bahrain says
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UK, GCC may sign post-Brexit trade deal this year, Bahrain says

UK, GCC may sign post-Brexit trade deal this year, Bahrain says

Negotiations between the GCC and the UK have begun

A trade deal between the UK and a six country bloc of Gulf oil producers including Saudi Arabia and the UAE could be concluded before the end of this year.

Negotiations between the Gulf Cooperation Council and the UK have begun and “we’re hopeful we could get something done by the end of this year or the middle of next year,” said Zayed Al Zayani, Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism for Bahrain.

The GCC, which also includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar, is aiming for a comprehensive deal that could help boost trade with the UK, Al Zayani said in an interview with Bloomberg TV.

The UK kicked off the process in October, with the Gulf becoming its latest post-Brexit trade target as it seeks to deepen economic ties beyond the European Union.

British trade with the GCC was worth about GBP45bn ($61bn) in 2019, 7 per cent of the size of Britain’s commerce with the EU in the same year. The EU and the GCC don’t have a free trade agreement in place, despite having been in talks for over 15 years.

Bahrain is also aiming to boost the contribution of tourism to Bahrain’s economy to 11.4 per cent of economic output by 2026, up from about 7 per cent, while boosting visitor numbers to 14.1 million a year, Al Zayani said.

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