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Support For Welsh Businesses Looking to Export to the Middle East

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Since the Welsh Government opened its office in Dubai in 2004, Welsh companies have won business across the MENA region in excess of US $25bn and this is set to increase as a variety of links are created over the next few years. The Wales business Network connects companies and organisations in Wales with relevant business contacts in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

With Welsh Government representatives based in Dubai, covering the MENA region, they assist companies, academia and other organisations to develop and create business there. They also nurture opportunities for inward investment from MENA and the creation of jobs in Wales.

What is the MENA region?

MENA is the region of the Middle East and North Africa. This includes the dynamic markets covered by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

With some of the highest levels of GDP in the World, growing aspirational populations and vast levels of investment in almost every sector of industry, the MENA region provides a broad range of trade and investment opportunities. Active sectors include: Energy, Water & Environment, Healthcare, Education & Training, Food & Drink, Tourism, Transport, Infrastructure & Construction, IT & Telecoms.

Facts and Figures

The UAE is now the 3rd largest global market for Wales, followed closely by Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Since opening the Welsh Government’s MENA office in 2004, exports from Wales to MENA have reached an 11 year cumulative total of US$13.5bn in 2014. These figures relate to physical exports only and would double to US$27bn if the service sector were to be included.

The UAE is now the 3rd largest global export market for Wales.

The UAE accounted for 65% of Welsh exports to MENA in 2014, followed by 17% to Qatar and 12% to Saudi Arabia.

In 2004 the top 5 markets for Wales in MENA were:

  • UAE (US$98.2m),
  • Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (US$51.2m),
  • Egypt (US$30.5m)
  • Morocco (US$16.2m),
  • Iran (US$15.3m)

In 2014 the top 5 markets for Wales in MENA were:

  • UAE (US$1.73bn)
  • Qatar (US$459.5m)
  • Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (US$338.2m)
  • Kingdom of Bahrain (US$73.6m)
  • Egypt (US$48.6m)

Since 2004 the number of Wales based businesses actively involved in the region has increased 300%+ from an estimated 40 or so to over 500 in 2014.

Over 65 Welsh Government supported events have been facilitated between 2004 – 2014 which includes an average of 3 trade missions and 3 exhibitions annually. Eight Ministerial visits have taken place between 2004 and 2015, including a recent high profile visit to Dubai by the Deputy Minister for Farming & Food, Rebecca Evans AM.