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UK-Gulf Co-operation Council Free Trade Agreement

Volume 741: debated on Monday 20 November 2023

The fifth round of negotiations for a free trade agreement between the UK and the Gulf Co-operation Council took place between 5 and 16 November.

The round was hosted by the GCC in Riyadh and held in a hybrid fashion. A number of UK negotiators travelled to Riyadh for in-person discussions, with others attending virtually.

Draft treaty text was advanced across the majority of chapters. Technical discussions were held across 21 policy areas over 40 sessions. Good progress was made and both sides remain committed to securing an ambitious, comprehensive and modern agreement fit for the 21st century.

An FTA will be a substantial economic opportunity and a significant moment in the UK-GCC relationship. Total trade was worth £61.5 billion according to latest figures.

The sixth round of negotiations is expected to be held in the first quarter of 2024.

His Majesty’s Government remain clear that any deal signed will be in the best interests of the British people and the United Kingdom economy.