UK appoints new HM Trade Commissioner to drive trade and investment relationship in the Middle East and Pakistan
Date Posted:Thu, 7th Sep 2023
The UK Government has appointed Oliver Christian as His Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for the Middle East and Pakistan and His Majesty’s Consul General to Dubai, succeeding Simon Penney.
Oliver will lead the UK Government’s Department for Business and Trade in the region, working in partnership with governments and businesses to deliver economic growth at home and abroad. In 2022, the UK’s bilateral trade between the UK and the Middle East and Pakistan (MEaP) stood at £61.3bn, with bilateral trade between the UK and the UAE reaching an all-time high of £21.5bn in the same period.
As HM Consul General to Dubai and the Northern Emirates, Oliver will lead the government’s work promoting UK economic, commercial, political and consular interests, supporting HM Ambassador to the UAE, Edward Hobart CMG.
Prior to his appointment, Oliver was Head of the Prime Minister's Business Unit in Downing Street, having served four prime ministers from 2019 to 2023. Oliver was responsible for maintaining a trusted link between the Prime Minister, Whitehall and the boardrooms of UK and international businesses and investors. He oversaw over £78bn of investment and export deals, establishing the UK Global Investment Summit and the creation of the Office for Investment during his tenure in Downing Street.
UK Business and Trade Secretary, Kemi Badenoch said:
“Our network of HMTCs bang the drum for Britain across the world, promoting UK trade, investment, and export finance.
“I am delighted to welcome Oliver to this role and am confident he will build on our outstanding track record on trade in the Middle East and Pakistan, expanding opportunities for British businesses in one of the world’s fastest growing markets.”
HM Ambassador to the UAE, Edward Hobart CMG said:
“The trade and investment relationship between the UK and the UAE is of long-term strategic importance. Our Partnership for the Future sets out a roadmap for collaboration between our two great nations, and I welcome Oliver’s appointment as HM Trade Commissioner and HM Consul General to Dubai to help deliver on this ambitious shared vision.”
HM Trade Commissioner for the Middle East and Pakistan and HM Consul General to Dubai, Oliver Christian said:
“It is an honour to be appointed as His Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for the Middle East and Pakistan. We have such strong trade and investment relationships within the region, and there is more we can do to ensure the UK continues to be a partner of choice, tapping the huge commercial potential its economies have to offer.
“I also look forward to contributing to the excellent relationship between the UK and the UAE in my role as HM Consul General to Dubai and the Northern Emirates in a momentous year for the UAE as it hosts COP28.
“It has been a privilege to lead the Prime Minister’s Business Unit in Downing Street for over four years, working with so many dedicated public servants, business leaders and investors."