The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the United Kingdom’s government have launched negotiations about possible new free trade agreements. If the talks are successful, the deal will benefit the entire region’s economy, including the green building sector. The treaty would remove or reduce taxes on certain goods and services, including clean energy technologies.
It is expected energy efficiency and renewable energy will be subjects of extensive talks among the parties. There are plans to remove tariffs on UK-manufactured renewable energy technologies, as well as solutions designed to improve energy efficiency in buildings.
This is the area where the Gulf countries could benefit, as most economies have embarked on a journey to become carbon neutral. Better access to new energy efficiency technologies would diversify their perspective energy sectors and accelerate the transition.
INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN CLEAN ENERGY IN BUILDINGS
To highlight investment opportunities in decarbonization and renewable energy, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion and the Oman Investment Authority organized The “New Energy in Oman” event in London this summer.
The United Kingdom, with its well-developed clean energy sector, would also benefit greatly from the deal. Around 10,700 small and medium-sized UK businesses export goods to the Gulf regions, mainly Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. Among them are manufacturers of wind turbines installed on buildings.
As for now UK exporters of wind turbine parts face tariffs of up to 15%. Once the tariffs are lowered or removed, we can expect a surge of companies interested in accessing new, promising markets.
Numerous energy-efficiency enterprises are already serving the Middle East. An example is London-based Quivered Energy Efficiency offering Internet of Things (IoT) and other smart solutions designed to optimize buildings’ energy performance. The trade deal is likely to attract more such innovative companies to the Gulf.
INNOVATIVE ENERGY TECH
The UK-GCC trade deal seems to be a winner for all. At present, the value of trade between GCC countries - namely the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman - and the United Kingdom totals $40 bn. For the UK the trade deal is estimated to bring an extra £1.6 billion to the economy and create numerous jobs.
The Gulf countries would benefit from wider access to innovative energy efficiency technologies and services, accelerating the region’s ‘green’ transformation. While the deadline for the deal completion is not set in stone, the negotiators are planning to sit at the table in the third quarter of this year and complete negotiations by the end on 2023.