UK’s Food and Drink Federation welcomes Gulf region trade talks offering potential major boost

The UK’s Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has welcomed moves from the Department of International Trades to launch negotiations for a trade deal with the Gulf Cooperation Council, offering key sector opportunities, reports Neill Barston.

As previously reported, Confectionery Production’s coverage of the Gulfood Manufacturing and accompanying Yummex (now ISM Middle East), has shown, there is a growing market for European confectionery in the UAE region – which is regarded as a major industrial hub.

This has been evidenced by the participation of major chocolate and confectionery brands at the key trade show event – which returns this November to the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Traditionally, British luxury brands, including confectionery, have gained a strong reception in the Gulf region, which has increasingly adopted premium branded international goods across a number of industry sectors.

Dominic Goudie, FDF Head of International Trade, welcomed the prospect of a potential deal in the Middle East. He said: “We strongly welcome the launch of talks with the Gulf Cooperation Council, which presents substantial growth opportunities for our industry. The UK’s strength in quality branded production and new product development means there are strong untapped export opportunities, particularly for value-added food and drink. A trade deal that reduces both tariffs and the complexity of trade in goods will unlock significant opportunities for UK exporters and will benefit consumers across the Gulf.

“We think there are also strong opportunities for businesses in the UK and GCC Member States to collaborate on innovation and new product development. This can be facilitated through an ambitious innovation chapter, accompanied by strong provisions to protect and enforce valuable intellectual property, alongside an early warning system to ensure businesses receive sufficient advance notice of regulatory changes.”

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