UK approaches Gulf countries on post-Brexit trade pact - UAE minister
(Adds detail on UAE-UK trade, background)
DUBAI, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Britain has approached the United
Arab Emirates and other Gulf countries on a possible trade pact
after Britain leaves the European Union, the UAE economy
minister said on Monday.
Such agreements can take years to negotiate, Sultan bin
Saeed al-Mansouri said on a panel at the World Government Summit
in Dubai. He gave no further details.
Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29, but it has yet
to find an agreement acceptable to both Brussels and UK
lawmakers, raising the prospect of a disorderly exit that could
damage the world’s fifth-largest economy.
The UK was "looking forward" to a free-trade agreement with
the Gulf Cooperation Council, Liam Fox, the UK state secretary
for international trade, said during a visit to Dubai for the
summit, according to state news agency WAM.
The GCC comprises the UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait
In 2017, trade between the UAE and UK totalled 17.5 billion
British pounds ($22.7 billion), up 12.3 percent from 2016,
according to official figures.
By 2020, the UK government wants that number to increase to
about 25 billion pounds.
(Reporting by Alex Cornwell, writing by Nafisa Eltahir, editing
by Larry King)
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