Date Created: 25 May 2012
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) offers a world of potential for Scottish companies wishing to grow and develop their business.
The value of trade between Scotland and the UAE has doubled over the last five years with exports now reaching £350 million.
There are a host of reasons to do business in the region. Scottish companies are able to provide the skills and investment which are much in demand in the region’s main areas of economic growth, such as oil and gas, renewables and food and drink.
Trade links between Scotland and the Emirates, while already active, have been dramatically enhanced in recent months as a result of two visits to the region by First Minister, Alex Salmond. His discussions, which had a particular focus on energy projects, helped cement relations and lay the ground for future investment and joint venture initiatives. He signed a renewable energy agreement between Scottish Enterprise and Masdar, the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company.
This deal involves Scotland’s Energy Technology Partnership – a union of 12 Scottish universities partnering with The Masdar Institute to develop new technologies in wind, solar, wave and tidal power.
The Abu Dhabi state-owned company Masdar was established five years ago to move the wealthy oil-rich state which is said to be the richest city in the world, away from its dependence on fossil fuels and towards renewable energy projects.
This hugely important and prestigious company is developing the London Array; a huge 1000 MW offshore wind farm in the Outer Thames Estuary and is working on carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects as well as a conceptual zero carbon city.
“Developing renewable energy is not something that either Scotland or Abu Dhabi can do on their own,” says Colin Crabbe, Scottish Development International’s Regional Manager for the Middle East.
“We can help each other in areas such as research and development and investment where there is a lot of potential for co-operation. Masdar is particularly keen to learn about the offshore wind supply chain which is developing in Scotland.”
With all countries in the Gulf and especially Qatar expected to enjoy strong GDP growth again, Scottish companies are in a strong position to capitalise on this.
In the meantime, plenty of opportunities remain for involvement in fossil fuel extraction. Scotland, and the North East in particular, are well placed to continue to benefit from oil and gas contracts.
Inevitably, anyone entering this marketplace from Scotland will want to be fully aware of the issues involved in dealing with a part of the world where everyday life and business practice is often different to the way we live in Europe.
Opportunities beyond oil and gas
Governments across the Arab world are diversifying their economies away from hydrocarbons with oil and gas wealth being invested in ambitious new infrastructure, as well as in the education and training of fast growing populations.
Scottish Development International offers a wealth of market support and information for Scottish companies wanting to establish a presence in the UAE and other Gulf states.
Gulf High Growth Tour
New to exporting or already trading in overseas markets? Explore opportunities to do business in the Gulf region at this free event hosted by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and Scottish Development International (SDI) in Glasgow, 18 June 2012.
Find out more about the event