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Secretary of State Liam Fox praises city's historic UAE link-up
THE SECRETARY of State for International Trade Liam Fox has applauded the forging of a trade link between a group of Milton Keynes business leaders and the foremost UK business interest group in the United Arab Emirates.
Dr Philip Smith, chairman of Milton Keynes Business Leaders Partnership, says connecting with the respected British Business Group Dubai and Northern Emirates and the potential for growing trade and exports for Milton Keynes businesses post-Brexit is a fantastic opportunity.
MKBLP and the BBG signed a Memorandum of Understanding during a visit to the UK by its chairman David Burns.
It kick-starts a collaboration to develop reciprocal trade missions for businesses in Milton Keynes and South East Midlands, and those in the UAE and Gulf Co-operation Council area.
The agreement will champion inward investment and developing new business opportunities.
Businesses from Milton Keynes and the South East Midlands will be supported in establishing commercial footholds in Dubai and the northern emirates, generating trade, wealth creation and employment opportunities between the UK and UAE.
Mr Fox said: “The UK’s future prosperity is tied to our ability to export more of our goods and services abroad than we currently do and my department has launched a new digital platform providing additional help to companies wanting to start exporting or scale up their business.
"The business to business relationships the UK has globally are vital and we will do all we can to support them. I applaud this initiative by the Milton Keynes Business Leaders Partnership.”
Many UK business organisations have sought a relationship with the BBG which has well-developed relationships with businesses, influencers and government in the UAE and UK but MKBLP is the first to proceed towards a formalised agreement.
Dr Smith said: “I take it as confirmation of the strength of MK Business Leaders as the voice of business here and of the potential of Milton Keynes as a trading partner that BBG has chosen us to make this link.”
Mr Burns said: “The collaboration with MK Business Leaders in a post-Brexit global economy is one which I am confident will contribute to tremendous growth for all who work with us.
"The BBG has been at the heart of the British business community in Dubai and the wider region for almost 30 years by consistently forming strategic partnerships with like-minded organisations which support the growth of British business.”
MKBLP, which works to promote the economic potential of Milton Keynes, is keen that all businesses in the city should benefit from the relationship with BBG.
Dr Smith said: “In the post-Brexit environment where the UK must explore new markets, this partnership could not be better timed and we encourage any business who wants to build on this bilateral link to speak to us about the fantastic opportunity it presents.”
Iain Stewart, MP for Milton Keynes South and Parliamentary Private Secretary at the Department for International Trade, added; “I hope this leads to stronger trading links between Milton Keynes and partners in Dubai. Milton Keynes, at the heart of the Oxford-Cambridge corridor, is central to the government’s ambitions for growing the UK economy.
“Our vibrant, dynamic economy is leading the development of technologies like smart cities and digital transport systems and well placed to establish commercial contacts with new and established markets around the globe.”
Pictured: MKBLP chair Dr Philip Smith (centre) with British Business Group chairman David Burns (right) and the BBG UK representative Mark Baker after signing the trade link memorandum.
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