UKEF seeks new markets at Brexit looms

(Arabian Business, Dubai, 30 March 201) As the spectre of Brexit looms, speculation has swirled that the European Union’s loss will be the Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) gain. British firms have been eyeing international expansion ahead of the country’s departure from the economic and political bloc for some time, and these closer economic ties are now rapidly becoming a reality. The opening of a permanent UK Export Finance office in Dubai is a clear sign of a booming post-Brexit relationship between the UK and the Middle East. In addition to the GCC, UKEF is looking to African infrastructure projects. The UK’s Trade Commissioner for Africa Emma Wade-Smith recently noted that the decision for the UK to move away from the European Union provides an opportunity to re-engage and refresh the way we operate across Africa. “For example, the UKEF has the ability to support infrastructure projects in South Africa (up to £4bn), Kenya (up to £1bn) and Nigeria (up to £750m). British home secretary Amber Rudd recently celebrated the strength and depth of the UK and Pakistan's "shared history" in announcing that UKEF would double its support, allowing Pakistan’s buyers to access finance to source high-quality UK goods and services.