Finally, I want to turn to some of the exciting things happening in government in Britain and how we’re helping British business succeed overseas.
For the first time in years, trade has taken its rightful place at the heart of government policy making and at the heart of the structures of Whitehall.
My department will champion UK PLC around the world, ensuring we boost exports, encourage both inward and outward investment, and prepare the ground for trade negotiations when we leave the EU.
We will also be quicker, than we have been, at identifying big-ticket exporting opportunities in high growth markets; we have already prioritised 31 across the Gulf, including here in the UAE. This not only covers traditional industries such as oil and gas or defence and infrastructure, but emerging areas like life sciences and creative.
And UK Export Finance – the government’s export credit agency, which now sits in my department – will continue to be on hand to ensure that no export to the UAE fails because of lack of finance or insurance. It has already offered finance for billion dollar infrastructure projects, including the Al Maktoum Airport and Expo 2020, and it will continue its great work on reducing barriers to trade.
Before I finish, I want to reiterate that the UK’s and UAE’s economic ties are already strong, but that there is so much more potential for growth.
We are both proud trading nations, and as the UK embarks on its new journey outside the European Union, we have wonderful opportunity to cement our trading future in a way that brings prosperity to all our citizens.
150 years ago the UK was the world’s biggest trading nation, and now we will lead the charge again for freer and fairer global trade. We are essentially at the heart of the new campaign for global trade liberalisation.
Britain is very much open for business as never before.
And that is worth getting out of bed for in the morning.