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The New Arab

Gulf countries could profit from make hard profit from no deal Brexit

The UAE would be the biggest winner in a no deal scenario [Getty]

Date of publication: 15 April, 2019

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The Gulf states could be winners in a no deal Brexit scenario.

Gulf states could make a $1.1 billion profit from the UK leaving the EU without a deal, according to a UN report released last week.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development's (UNCTAD) report looked into the impact of a hard Brexit from the EU by the world's fifth largest economy, following a referendum on membership of the European bloc in 2016, which saw the Leave campaign narrowly win.

Although North African states such as Morocco and Egypt would be hit hard by a no deal Brexit, Gulf states would be benefactors due to increased volumes of trade with the UK.

The UAE will see the biggest gain, with predicted profits of around $425 million due to increased exports to the UK.

Saudi Arabia would get a $267 million boost from a no deal Brexit, while Kuwait is closely behind with $263 million.

Qatar would see a $157 million profit, Bahrain $16.7 million and Oman $8.4 million.

With European markets likely restricted in a no deal scenario, the UK would likely turn to traditional allies for trade, analysts have suggested.

The Gulf region has been a key post-Brexit target of the governing Conservative Party, with UAE Economy Minister Sultan bin Saeed al-Mansouri saying that the UK had approached GCC countries about future trade deals.

Mansouri warned that such agreements could take years to negotiate, although trade between the UAE and UK has been rapidly rising over the past decade.

Secretary of State Liam Fox has said he was "looking forward" to a free trade deal with Gulf states. The UK is aiming at around $33 billion in trade with the UAE by 2020, up from current levels of around $23 billion.

Hard Brexit is looking less likely now, with an extension of the UK's departure from the EU extended to 31 October.

 

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