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Khalifa visit to boost Emirates-British ties
Shamila Jamaluddin April 22, 2013
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ABU DHABI: An official visit by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to the United Kingdom from April 30 to May 1, 2013 on an invitation by Queen Elizabeth II is expected to further cement the UAE-UK relations.

“The two countries have been initiating several steps to boost ties and the results are very positive,” declared Dominic Jermey, British ambassador in the UAE, as he briefed the media in the capital on Sunday. “The visit will set the seal on our new ways of working together.”

There is a close relationship between the royal families of the UAE and UK.  Sheikh Khalifa’s father, the late Sheikh Zayed, hosted the Queen on a state visit to the UAE in 1979.  The Queen hosted Sheikh Zayed on a state visit to the UK in 1989.  Sheikh Khalifa’s visit continues that long-standing relationship.

Sheikh Khalifa’s programme will include a state luncheon at the Windsor Castle; a bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister at Number 10 Downing Street; laying of a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey and tea with the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at Clarence House.

The ambassador noted that the UK-UAE Taskforce has been the cornerstone of this new relationship.

“Through the Taskforce, our investment is growing in each other’s economies and our cultural and educational links are prospering. We work with the UAE on shared interests and security challenges across the region.”

Outlining details on business and trade between the two countries, Jeremy said in January 2013 UK exports to the UAE were £381 million, which represents a decrease of 11% on the same period in 2012. “UK imports were £237.8 million, an increase of 57% on the same period in 2012. Thus bilateral trade is up by 7% on January 2012.”

The UAE is now the UK’s 13th largest market (£5.16bn) for the export of goods (only) moving up three places and a 9% increase on 2011. Imports from the UAE to the UK amounted to £2.19b up from £1.88b in 2011. 

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