UK eyes ME water sector

DUBAI — British companies are bringing their water
and wastewater expertise to the UAE for exploring business
opportunities and further strengthening existing commercial partnerships
between the two countries.

A high-level delegation of companies from the United Kingdom water and
wastewater sector recently visited Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The principal
focus of the mission was water and wastewater treatment and the UK group
represented a broad range of skills and technologies from project
feasibility to implementation.

The delegates were part of a seminar organised by UK Trade &
Investment, or UKTI, Dubai, at which they showcased their expertise and
vision for the sector to a number of local companies and government
organisations in the UAE.

“The target is to introduce companies in the UK water sector who are looking
to trade internationally. Some of them have been here before and some
first time and they are just looking to see whether there are
opportunities for them here,” British Water international marketing
executive Bridget Orr told Khaleej Times at the seminar in Dubai.

British Water is the lead organisation for the UK water and wastewater
industry, representing just under 200 of the most active companies in
the sector. For this reason British Water has been appointed by the UKTI
to manage the organisation of this visit.

Some of the companies are established here and they want to build up their
reputation or introduce new products or new services or new
technologies, Orr said, adding: “Basically it’s to promote British
business here in the Middle East.”

UK companies help countries across the globe develop integrated,
sustainable approaches to water resource management. The UK’s
traditional industrial expertise and scientific excellence combined with
strong innovative approaches to technology, policy and regulation have
ensured their global competitive advantage.

After the UAE, the delegation’s next stop will be in Saudi Arabia this week.
“We have nine companies visiting the UAE and 16 companies visiting Saudi
Arabia,” Orr said. “We have Atkins with us and they are the largest UK
engineering company and they are the largest UK company working in the
Middle East. They are very well established here and have done a lot of
projects,” she said.

The delegation also has consultants and suppliers familiar with this
market, she said, adding: “They are looking for different regions in the
world and they think the Middle East may be having a good opportunity
for them.”

“From British Water’s point of view we have 180 companies that are in the UK
water industry and about 95 per cent of them are looking to trade
internationally. So that’s the majority and most of our companies around
85 per cent are small to medium enterprises. So all the big companies
already have international cooperation. And even our smaller companies
are beginning to want to trade internationally,” she said.

“We look at different target markets,” Orr said, adding that target markets
in Middle East are the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Qatar. In addition
to the Middle East, India and China are other markets in Asia in focus,
she added. “We also look at South America, Europe and Turkey as target
markets.”

To read more please visit Khaleej Times

Article by Links Group on Jan 22nd 2012

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