Latest News

BCC Quarterly Economic Survey: UK economy treading water despite export boost

Based on the responses of over 7,100 businesses, the survey shows that UK economic growth remained subdued in the first quarter of 2018, despite a strong export performance.

In the service sector, a key driver of the UK economy, the proportion of firms reporting improved export sales and orders rose slightly, although overall growth remains muted and relatively unchanged from the previous three months. View full article here.

BCC: Government must establish permanent dialogue with business on future trade deals

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) is today (Wednesday) intensifying its call for the UK Government to establish a formal, permanent dialogue with business, consumer and civil society organisations to ensure that trade negotiations - including those on Brexit - draw on the detailed knowledge, expertise and experience of the private and third sector. View full article here.

Belt & Road Summit

The Belt and Road Summit brings together senior government officials, representatives of international institutions, business leaders and industry experts from countries along and beyond the Belt and Road to exchange views on multilateral co-operation and explore new business opportunities arising from the Belt and Road Initiative.

Find out more here.

Iraq British SME Forum

The Iraq British SME Forum will be taking place in London on 25th April. On a first come first served basis the British Iraq Chamber of Commerce are inviting British SMEs to attend and have a display at which they can meet with up to eighty visiting Iraqi business people and discuss business opportunities – at no cost.

If you wish to attend please send the attached registration form back to

If you have any queries kindly contact  on 07885 807816.


A huge effort is underway in Egypt to upgrade public and private healthcare facilities. The government is looking for investment in medical manufacturing facilities, particularly in the new Suez Canal Economic Zone.

With a growing population already over 100 million to accommodate, Egypt’s Ministry of Housing is building new cities that require hospitals and medical centres. There is a further need for high-quality medical furniture, appliances, surgical equipment, disposables and pharmaceuticals.


Egypt’s Ministry of Transport has significant development targets in three main areas; roads & bridges, railways & metro, and maritime (ports, dry ports and river ports). The Ministry is actively looking for private sector involvement in the construction of a new road network (2000km), the renewal of 1200km rail tracks, the purchase and local manufacturing of 1300 rail passenger coaches, the maintenance of 150 rail stations, and replacement & renewal of rolling stocks (priority). The metro system is expanding from 77km currently to 300km by 2024, a total of 6 lines will service the Greater Cairo area.

Their three-day programme includes meetings with senior officials in government, site visits and B2B opportunities. 

For more information please visit The Egyptian British Chamber of Commerce linked here or email Karin Van Wesep:

British Chamber of Commerce - Key Changes to VAT

Our colleague Joe Hepworth, CEO British Centres for Business in Saudi Arabia has drawn our attention to a key change to VAT that will be introduced into the United Arab Emirates on 1st January 2018. All GCC countries have agreed that it will be mandatory for companies with revenue of over approximately US$100,000 to be VAT registered with the Federal Tax Authority.  It will be voluntary for companies with a turnover of more than US$50,000, but with thresholds so low, the majority of companies in the UAE will pay VAT.

With the go-live date of VAT in the region just 2 months away those exporting to GCC countries using the DDP Incoterm should be aware of the 5% charge being introduced. The Charge of VAT on imports will work in a similar way as it does in the EU at present with the VAT being paid before goods can be released.  Where appropriate the importer will be able to reclaim the VAT paid.

For the latest information as well as more detailed information please refer to the UAE Ministry of Finance website

Please share this email with colleagues at your Chamber as appropriate.

If you would like to learn more about any of the news please contact Rachel Cornes