Postponed to Further Notice

The Arab British Chamber of Commerce is pleased to host a Ministerial Roundtable Webinar with Minister Ranil Jayawardena MP – Minister for International Trade on Monday 7 Dec 11.00 GMT

In Partnership with DIT , we have organised this webinar to discuss the future trading relationship between the UK and GCC, already one of the UK’s most significant trading partners. Businesses will have an opportunity to feed in views on the opportunities that exist and share opinions on what can be done to reduce the barriers to further bilateral trade and investment. This event will support the ongoing Joint Trade and Investment Review being conducted between DIT and the GCC Secretariat and whether you are an exporter or investor, now is the chance to join a discussion to influence and inform the future relationship.

The discussion will be followed by a Q&A.


Mr Ranil Jayawardena MPMinister for International Trade

Ranil Jayawardena was appointed Minister for International Trade in May 2020. He was elected as the Conservative MP for North East Hampshire in 2015. Ranil went to his local comprehensive school in north east Hampshire and studied government at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Ranil entered Parliament representing his home constituency in 2015, and was re-elected in 2017 and 2019. Before serving as a minister, he was a member of the International Trade, Home Affairs, Procedure and Arms Export Controls Committees, and had been appointed by the Speaker of the House of Commons to the Chairmens’ Panel. He was also made Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party by the Prime Minister. Prior to his election to Parliament, he was a councillor, serving as deputy leader of the Borough of Basingstoke and Deane. Ranil combined his service in local government with working for Lloyds Banking Group plc and is a freeman of the City of London. He also has wide ranging commercial experience from the pharmaceutical, construction, transport and leisure sectors. Ranil is married with 2 daughters.


Mr Simon Penney, HM Trade Commissioner for the Middle East, Afghanistan & Pakistan Department for International Trade

Simon Penney was appointed as Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for the Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan in May 2018. After an induction period in London, Simon relocated to the region and has been based in UAE since October 2018. Simon oversees trade promotion and investment using his deep links with industry in the Middle East to raise the profile of the region in the UK, building stronger and deeper trading relationships. Simon leads the UK’s export, FDI, policy and export credit operations in the region.

Before the appointment, Simon spent many years in the banking sector with extensive experience leading Corporate and Financial Institution Groups and teams across, the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Asia. Simon has held roles in the Middle East with First Gulf Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland, prior to which he was with ABN AMRO Bank in South Africa and the UK. He has also worked in consulting at PwC and in project finance. Simon has an Engineering degree from Reading University and a MBA from Nottingham University.


The Rt Hon Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean, Chairman, The Arab British Chamber of Commerce

The Rt Hon Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean is a senior Labour member of the House of Lords and a business leader. Formerly Deputy Leader of the House of Lords, Baroness Symons was a Minister in the UK Government from 1997 until stepping down in 2005. Among her government posts she was Minister for the Middle East, Minister for International Trade and Minister for Defence Procurement, and the Prime Minister’s envoy to the Gulf.
Previously a trade union general secretary, she was an Equal Opportunities Commissioner and a governor of the London Business School. As well as working closely with DLA Piper, Baroness Symons is now involved with a number of other commercial organisations, including roles as a non-executive director of British Airways, and as an advisor to other companies, including those with strong Middle East links, and with a number of not-for-profit organisations, including the International Red Cross.


Mr Bandar Reda, CEO & Secretary General, The Arab British Chamber of Commerce
Mr Bandar Reda took up his position as Secretary General and CEO of the ABCC on 1st March 2019. As CEO for the Chamber, Mr Reda will contribute his expertise and a proven track record, along with his combined experience as a diplomat and extensive hands-on experience in the private sector to help bring the Chamber to the next level. Mr Reda has a distinguished professional career of more than a decade in banking and corporate industry at SABB HSBC Saudi Arabia, prior to taking up senior positions in the diplomatic service of his country, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as the Commercial Attaché in the UK & Europe and before that in Italy and the Saudi delegation to BIE in Paris. Mr Reda holds a BA in Economics and Business Administration from Orlando USA. He was an Executive Member of the Saudi-Italian Business Council, Council of Saudi Chambers; a Member of the Business Youth Committee, Jeddah Chamber of Commerce; a Member of the Saudi Economy Association; and a Member of the Saudi Arabian legal accountants. Mr Bandar Reda’s undoubted experience and abilities is clearly demonstrated in his extensive career of service in both public and private sectors. This appointment will enable him to make a vital contribution to the strengthening of the Chamber’s activities and extend its influence as the leading strategic business services organisation in the UK working to improve bilateral trade.


Sponsorship & Speaking Opportunities

ABCC webinars will bring together senior government officials, heads of public departments & organisations and  decision-makers. Maximise your brand’s recognition and partnership opportunities with our bespoke sponsorship packages.

To find out more about speaking opportunities please contact Mrs Rita Massoud;+44(0) 207 659 4855 /