Reacting to the launch of negotiations, William Bain, Head of Trade Policy at the BCC, said:
“These negotiations are likely to be more complex than the others recently undertaken by the UK Government. But they also have the potential for a greater uplift for exporters across the UK, particularly in services and emerging technology.
“The six Gulf states together, represent the fifth largest market for UK exporters after the EU, US, China and Switzerland.
“If the negotiations yield a comprehensive free trade agreement covering all six Gulf states, total trade with the UK could rise by an additional £7bn by 2035, with new opportunities for investment flows being created.
“Stronger foundations for access to Gulf product markets, more predictable regulatory practices, and lower tariffs would also benefit UK machinery, automotive and food exporters.”
The trade negotiations will officially start in Riyadh today. Member countries of the Gulf Co-operation Council are The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait.