With about 100 companies exhibiting at IDEX, the UK has one of the largest international presences at the show, writes David Donald.
Heading the trade delegation is Minister for Defence Procurement Harriet Baldwin, who announced at the show that Welsh company Qioptiq had been awarded an £82 million contract for surveillance and targeting equipment for the UK Armed Forces.
The Minister is here to underline the strong bonds that exist between the UAE and the UK. British nationals account for 100,000 of the expatriates that live in the Emirates, and a further 1.5 million visit every year – many coming here to do business. At a government level, the two countries are unique in spending at least 0.7 per cent of GNI on internationally recognised overseas development and humanitarian assistance at the same time as at least 2 per cent of GDP on defence.
Bilateral trade is now approaching £13 billion, and the UK/UAE Business Council has targeted an increase to £25 billion by 2020. “IDEX is a key part of this goal,” said the Minister, “and I am here to help make the case for a dynamic, outward-looking Britain – a Britain that is recognised across the world as a leader in security, infrastructure protection and training.”
With around £4 billion of exports, the UK is now the fifth largest exporter in the security sector.