UAE teams up with the UK to launch new center for SME development
The British government is launching a business centre in Dubai in April that will assist small to medium-sized companies from the United Kingdom in setting up local operations.
“The UK-Dubai Business Centre is going to act as a place where small companies can set up and be incubated,” said Lord Ian Livingston, the UK’s Minister of State for Trade and Investment.
Livingston was speaking to the media at an event at the British Embassy in Dubai on Sunday evening. He is in the UAE plugging British retail, luxury and design companies under the GREAT Week UAE program.
The new UK-Dubai Business Centre will be housed in the Small and Medium sized Enterprise (SME) sector of Dubai’s Department of Economic Development (DED). The British companies are likely to work with local Dubai companies through the DED.
Livingston said the business centre will not only provide British companies with the office space and facilities necessary to set up in Dubai but also an opportunity to develop an understanding of the market.
“It gives an opportunity … that allows them to work together [with local companies] to sell into the region or indeed sell to the wider [global economy],” he said.
The UK-Dubai Business Centre is part of a global campaign to support British SMEs abroad. The British government is investing £8 million over the next three to five years to establish business centres in 40 countries. Other centres have already been opened including in India.
UK-UAE bilateral trade is forecasted to reach £12 billion by 2015. In 2012, it was £10.6 billion, an increase of 9.3 per cent on 2011. Figures for 2013 have not been released.
By Alexander Cornwall
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