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RIYADH: UK trade talks with Gulf countries would be concluded in 12 to 18 months, UK International Trade Minister Anne Marie Trevelyan has revealed.

The UK started talks on a free trade deal with six Gulf countries in the latest round of negotiations aimed at strengthening its relationship outside the EU after its exit.

“It is difficult to determine the time period for discussing free trade agreements, but we believe that a period of a year to a year and a half is a realistic period and we have identified it as a starting zone. “, she told Al Arabiya.

The Gulf Cooperation Council’s visions aim to help the business sector grow, use digital tools to help emerging companies find new markets and diversify the oil and gas economy in the long term, a said Trevelyan.

“We want to make sure that with the removal of barriers to food, drink and other goods, we will see businesses in both directions benefit,” she said.

She added: “It is also important to support the flow of investment in both directions, and we want to see the investment flowing between our countries increase further so that companies from the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates States and Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain are working closely together. together as much as possible, so that we can realize the visions, and it was really exciting to see the developments during my visit, and that these opportunities for business not only for our generation, but for future generations.

UK-US trade agreement

Along with the Gulf countries, the UK is also in talks with the US, waiting for President Joe Biden’s administration to be ready to negotiate a federal trade deal, Trevelyan said.

“I and a number of ministers are working with a number of US states on topics such as mutual recognition of qualifications and governor-controlled policies to help our businesses increase trade and remove some of the existing barriers” , she said.

Trevelyan added, “We look forward to a federal deal, but President Biden wanted to focus his efforts internally in his first year, and we respect that decision.”

“I am working with my counterparts to remove barriers to market entry, and we have a steel royalty resolution and a royalty resolution related to the Boeing-Airbus dispute. We have done a lot and are waiting for that. the Biden administration be ready to begin the federal deal,” she said.

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