Seven of the 2013-2014 top competitive economies are in the Middle East, offering a huge market of consumers hungry for high-quality goods from Europe. ‘Brand Britain’ has an incredibly strong reputation in the region, and the UK is becoming an increasingly popular destination for tourism and education – making the UK especially well-placed to trade with the Middle East.
Nonetheless, many British companies are reluctant to initiate trade with this part of the world. The main barriers cited are cultural differences and political stability concerns.
To help bridge the knowledge gap and encourage British businesses to start building trade relations with the region, we have developed destination guides and fact sheets for three essential Middle East markets.
Saudi Arabia, the largest economy in the Middle East, is already the UK’s main trading partner in the Gulf. However, there are even more unexplored opportunities: major improvements to Saudi Arabia’s healthcare and education systems as well as infrastructure are underway, and the expertise of British companies is highly valued.
For more information on trading with Saudi Arabia, our Customs Support team has compiled a video with top tips for ensuring shipments are cleared through Saudi Arabia Customs quickly and efficiently.
The United Arab Emirates has a strong reputation as one of the world’s most international and liberal business centres. The World Bank has ranked the UAE as the easiest place for doing business in the Middle East and more than 5,000 British companies already have a presence in the country.
Qatar has the world’s highest per capita GDP. The country, where English is widely spoken, is Britain’s third-largest export market in the Middle East.
All three of these countries are part of the GCC, the Gulf Cooperation Council. This political and economic bloc safeguards regional political stability and aspires towards free trade, including a potential common currency. To help navigate etiquette when doing business with the Middle East, we have compiled a guide with some essential factors to bear in mind.
As businesses already trading with the Middle East are optimistic about the region’s business prospects, we hope our guides and insights give you compelling reasons to begin exploring trade relations with this part of the world.