• Doing Business in the Gulf Region

    Exploring Fresher Trade Prospects


Doing Business in the Gulf Region

The Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) is a political and economic union of Arab states bordering the Gulf. Established in 1981, it comprises 6 members, namely, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain. The GCC is located at the crossroads of the major Western and Eastern economies. The GCC’s well-established and efficient air & sea connections and developed infrastructure make it an excellent place to set up and expand businesses.

Since the discovery of oil in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) more than 40 years ago, the Gulf region has been subjected to a profound transformation and is now home to some of the fastest growing economies in the world. Today, the governments of the GCC countries strive to diversify their economies away from dependence on hydrocarbon industries. These diversified growth sectors such as finance, logistics, aviation, communications, healthcare and tourism present us with abundant business opportunities. Favourable policy frameworks towards foreign co-operation, investment and modernization result in extensive diplomatic and commercial relations with other countries.

  • Sri Lanka’s Trade Relations with the UAE
  • Sri Lanka’s Trade Relations with the UAE

    Over the last three decades, Sri Lanka’s ties with the UAE have grown beyond labour relations - which was the focus when the island nation opened its resident mission in 1979 - to encompass bilateral trade and investments. Today, the UAE features among Sri Lanka’s top ten trade partners. In fact, the UAE has now become Sri Lanka’s sixth-largest global trading partner and eighth-largest export partner.

    Bilateral trade reached $1838.2 million in 2017 with the balance of trade in favour of the UAE, principally due to oil exports. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka exported $274.1 million worth of goods to the UAE in 2017. Sri Lanka’s exports have increased from US $235.8million to US $274.1million with reference between 2013 and 2017. Sri Lanka’s national brand Ceylon Tea is Sri Lanka’s single-largest export product to the UAE market. Other major exports are ready-made garments, coconut- and rubber-based products, seafood, spices, gems and jewellery.

    Sri Lanka’s participation in EXPO 2020 Dubai is expected to boost the current trade prospects between the two even further and shore up Sri Lanka’s ambitious growth targets in export revenue.