The UAE is set to invest £1.5 billion ($1.96 billion) in the UK in renewable energy sector, said Baroness Rona Fairhead, UK Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion at the Department for International Trade (DIT).
"Brexit will help the UK pursue a more open economic policy. We are accelerating relations with more countries around the world and we are working extremely well with the UAE across multiple investment domains, particularly in areas of R&D, clean energy and new technologies," stated the minister while speaking to Emirates News Agency, Wam on the sidelines of the ongoing Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (Adipec).
"The UAE is UK’s 4th largest partner outside Europe. You come only next to US, China and India, which means that the UAE is a very significant partner for us," noted Fairhead.
"Over the coming period, we will build on our strengths and continue our investments, improving efficiency and investing heavily in new technologies. We will share technology," she said.
"More importantly, we have a lot of people here. We have more than 120,000 UK nationals in the UAE, and more than 6,000 UK companies operating in the country, which means a good basis, but more needs to be done," she added.
The minister said British exports to the UAE cover a wide spectrum of sectors, including telecommunications, power generation machinery and equipment, electrical goods, transport, office machinery, interior and retail goods and non-metallic mineral manufacturing.
On her view of the oil market at the moment in terms of supply and demand balance and whether the Opec/non-Opec deal is working, the minister said: "I’m very optimistic about the energy landscape. I think it is good news to have oil up to between $60-63 now, and I think supplies are being managed in an effective way."
" Also, the oil output cut deal could be extended next year. I view it as very positive compliance on the part of producers in comparison with past experience," remarked Fairhead.
On how British companies are managing with the remarkably high competition among global oil players in the region against a backdrop of geopolitical tension, the minister said: "British companies have been working in the region since 1930s. Companies need to compete as competition needs more creativity, which is urgently needed under the current circumstances. Competition means more renovation and lower costs."
"I talked during Adipec about what people call the "Energy Dilemma". We have to keep consumers happy, but at the same time we have to make sure that people can afford it and companies can afford to invest," said the minister.
"To my mind, I’m very optimistic that we can build on our shared hopes and move forward despite all the challenges. So our focus at the ministry will be helping to encourage more collaboration and more partnerships to the mutual advantage of all parties concerned and this how business works," she added.