Liz Truss says UK will be 'adding' to trade deals in 2021
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Boris Johnson is hoping to secure agreements with Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Oman among others at the Global Investment Summit in October. The Prime Minister and the Queen will welcome powerful executives and heads of major institutions to the UK to discuss strengthening business ties.
The event will aim to attract more foreign direct investment to Britain now it has left the EU.
Ministers have set their sights on securing as much as £5billion in investment from the one day summit taking place on October 19.
International Trade Secretary Liz Truss is looking to replicate a multi-billion pound agreement signed with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) this year at the summit.
Representatives from state-owned sovereign wealth funds in the region are expected to attend, giving the UK a golden opportunity to close more investment deals.
The summit will build on the success of the UK Office for Investment, which earlier this year secured a landmark agreement between Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company and the UK Government for a £1billion commitment to life sciences.
The Department for International Trade announced in June that it had agreed with the Gulf Cooperation Council to strengthen economic ties.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait all make up the trading bloc.
There is already £30billion of trade year between the UK and Gulf Cooperation Council.
The Global Investment Summit will give the UK a chance to further bolster trade.
Speaking earlier this year Ms Truss said the meeting offered an opportunity to strengthen ties in green technology and finance.
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She said: “The UK was one of the first governments in the world to set a net zero target by 2050 and we are still leading the global shift to clean economic growth.
“From wind turbines in Scotland to hydrogen development in Wales, the Global Investment Summit will be a fantastic opportunity to secure investment deals into the best of British green industry, allowing us to build back better, stronger and greener.
“We look forward to rolling out the green carpet for some of the world’s leading businesses, helping to drive investment into all corners of the country.”
In the longer term Ms Truss has expressed her desire to negotiate a free trade deal with the Gulf Cooperation Council.
A Government spokesperson said: “The UK is the best investment destination in the world and we want to attract investment from a wide range of countries.
“Our Global Investment Summit will bring together the world’s biggest investors, showcasing the best of British innovation and the full breadth of the UK’s investment offer.”
Labour’s shadow international trade, Emily Thornberry, claimed Brexit had led to a lack of investment in Britain and said it was vital Ms Truss boosted links.
She said: “This summit is a crucial opportunity for the Department of Trade to reverse the steep decline we’ve seen since 2016 in the number of new projects and new jobs created in the UK through inward investment.”
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