Bahrain and Kuwait are important trading partners and there are significant opportunities for UK businesses in both countries. We have been liaising closely with their Governments on strengthening our investment and trade links and we have been supporting new business opportunities in the region in order to promote British exports.
Both Bahrain and Kuwait are members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a Customs Union, so are not able to enter into bilateral trade deals. The GCC is one of the UK’s biggest export markets outside of the EU, and there could be significant opportunities in a stronger trading arrangement with all GCC countries. At the GCC Leaders’ Summit in December, in Manama, the Prime Minister announced the creation of the UK-GCC Trade and Investment Working Group to examine how we can unblock remaining barriers to trade and take steps to further liberalise our economies for the benefit of our mutual prosperity.