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© Reuters. Boris Johnson, Britain’s Prime Minster, meets Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan at Downing Street in London, Britain on September 16, 2021. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/Pool

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DUBAI (Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates could invest at least a further 1 billion pounds ($1.4 billion) in the United Kingdom this year after pledging 10 billion pounds this week to its investment partnership with the British government.

Simon Penney (UK’s Trade Commissioner for the Middle East) told Reuters that there is “line of sight” on transactions of at least one billion pounds between now and end of this year.

Penney stated that the UAE’s investment was expected to reach 2 billion pounds by this year in an interview online.

Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth funds Mubadala oversees UAE investments. Penney did not respond to an email request for comment.

On Thursday, the oil-rich Gulf nation pledged 10 billion pounds to British infrastructure and clean energy. This is in addition to its March announcement of a “sovereign partnership” with UK.

Since then, more than 1.1 billion dollars has been invested.

After its exit from the European Union in June, Britain wants to increase trade relations around the globe. This includes securing a free trade deal with six Gulf Arab countries known as GCC. The UAE is also included.

Since more than a decade, the GCC (which also includes Saudi Arabia) has not entered into a free trade deal.

According to the UAE, it is pursuing comprehensive economic agreements and partnerships with eight countries. This includes Britain.

($1 = 0.7247 pounds)

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