My interview with Joe Hepworth, CEO for the British Centres for Business based in Dubai
By: Richie Santosdiaz
Opportunities in the Middle East
The Middle East, in particular the Gulf, is a market of great interest and opportunity for many British exporters. From the strong historical ties to the current and future opportunities, such as with Dubai Expo 2020, there definitely is lots of focus in this part of the world from the UK and beyond.
For instance, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the UK’s largest export market in the Middle East and the 13th biggest globally. The UK exported £9.8 billion of goods and services in 2016, which was a 37% increase since 2009. Also, Saudi Arabia is the UK’s largest trading partner in the Middle East. The UK exported around £7 billion goods and services in 2014, while goods exports were 4.17 billion the same year. There are over 6,000 UK firms actively exporting goods to Saudi Arabia.
How can a UK exporter new to – or even experienced but looking to penetrate further – the Middle East market expand into the market, especially given limited resources? Well, the UK government of course has the Department for International Trade, whose aim is to help UK businesses succeed internationally with their various regional offices throughout the UK and global reach through UK embassies and consulates.
The Middle East presents an interesting opportunity for UK exporters, in particular the UAE. This includes the likes of upcoming opportunities – notably Dubai Expo 2020 – as well as ongoing changes in the region like Saudi Vision 2030.
Support on hand – including the British Centres for Business
Given both the opportunities, as well as unfamiliarity of the market for most Brits, the UK also has other forms of support. Specifically, some might have heard of the British Centres for Business that is based in Dubai.
The British Centres for Business, or BCB, is a business-to-business professional services company established with the mandate of providing operational support and market entry services in the UAE to British companies. They work alongside the British government to deliver on-demand trade services, providing practical assistance, guidance and orientation for UK exporters and, through their incubators in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and direct market-entry support.
The British Centres for Business in Dubai is a member of the Overseas Business Network Initiative, which was created by the British Chambers of Commerce and supported by the Department for International Trade, working together to create an international business network, providing practical support for UK exporters.
Watch my interview with Joe Hepworth, CEO of the British Centres for Business, on how British exporters can succeed in the Middle East as well as more information about the BCB, and if you want to do any further reading, check out the Institute of Export & International Trade’s Doing Business guide for the UAE.
For more information and support on doing business in the Middle East:
Contact Joe Hepworth and his team at the British Centres for Business (BCB) for market entry support to help you get underway in the UAE.
You can also contact a local Department for International Trade (DIT) trade adviser in the UK with respect to exporting in general.
More information about Doing Business in the UAE