The UAE-UK Business Council has started to work towards an ambitious new goal of £25 billion ($35.4 billion) annual trade by 2020, according to David Cameron, the British prime minister.
Cameron told consultancy firm Oxford Business Group (OBG) that the new trade target was set after the council reached its earlier objective of £12 billion annual trade two years ahead of schedule.
“Trade between the Gulf and the UK was worth $33 billion in 2014 – more than our trade with India or China,” the UK’s prime minister said. “The UAE is our 14th biggest export market. The Gulf’s prosperity is also our prosperity.”
OBG said the UK prime minister also highlighted the key role that the UK had played in supporting the UAE’s fast-paced development, while also pointing to the emirates’ significant investment in British initiatives, such as infrastructure.
“British businesses, institutions and individuals have contributed a huge amount to the extraordinary development of the UAE into the increasingly diversified hub which it has become. And the UAE has become an increasingly important investor in the UK,” he said.
Cameron said there were many opportunities for future partnerships between the UK and the emirates. He also highlighted the importance of joint efforts on a regional level to combat terrorism, describing Gulf security and British security as “intimately linked”.
“It would be foolish to deny the challenges which confront the UK and the Gulf – the security threats, the oil price, headwinds in the major emerging economies,” Cameron told OBG. “But these are challenges which we can meet together, and from which we can create opportunities.”