Welsh Government appoint first envoy in the Middle East

Paul Gyles. Picture by the Welsh Government

The Welsh Government’s new envoy to the United Arab Emirates will play a key role in strengthening Wales’ global presence, Economy Minister Ken Skates has said.

The Welsh Government said that the appointment of Paul Gyles will help drive capital investment and promote Welsh exports to the United Arab Emirates which is an important global business hub.

Paul is a Chartered Management Accountant (CIMA) with over 30 years’ experience working with market leading companies across UK, Middle East and Asia. He has lived in Dubai in the UAE since 2003 and is the fourth envoy to be appointed by the Welsh Government since the launch of the international strategy which aims to raise the profile of the nation around the world.

Through working with established and high profile individuals, the Welsh Government hopes to spark and increase the engagement of the Welsh diaspora, which is made up of alumni and friends of Wales in other countries, they said.

“I am honoured to be appointed as a Welsh Government Envoy representing Wales in the Middle East,” Paul Gyles said.

“I will do my best to help promote Wales within this region, both in terms of driving capital investment opportunities to Wales, as well as supporting companies looking to export into this region.

“In such a challenging economic environment it’s a really exciting time to open new doors for businesses and I’m immensely proud to be part of the development of a worldwide, Welsh business network.”

 

‘Significant’

Paul Gyles is the fourth envoy announced by the Welsh Government, after three others were appointed in September.

The three other envoys are:

  • Koji Tokumasu. Koji lived in Cardiff for two years in the 1970s. Koji was instrumental in bringing the Rugby World Cup to Japan in 2019 and is a former President of Asia Rugby.
  • La-Chun Lindsay. La-Chun moved to Wales to take the role of MD of GE Aviation Wales in 2015 – becoming the first woman to undertake an MD position for the company.
  • Aled Miles. Born in Bridged, he moved to the USA in 2006 to take up the position of CEO at Cineflex Camera Systems LLC. His specialism is cyber.

The envoys will be unpaid and reimbursed for any travel and sustenance costs associated to their role.

“This is a challenging time and one when we are all seeking to navigate the opportunities, challenges and complexities of the UK leaving the EU and the ongoing difficulties associated with the coronavirus pandemic,” Minister for Economy Ken Skates said.

“Paul will be extolling Wales’ virtues as a first class trading partner, an excellent tourism destination, a diverse cultural partner and a great place to live, study and do business.

“Our Economic Action Plan is clear about our commitment to prioritising exports and trade, and to helping businesses retain their existing trading partners while branching out into other global markets. There is no doubt that it is a hugely significant market and one which has much to offer our exporters.”

The Welsh Conservatives have been critical the Welsh Government’s international ambitions.

In October, Welsh Conservative leader Paul Davies said that there would be no Minister for International Relations if he were to become First Minister.

“International relations is not devolved, it never has been, and under my watch Welsh ministers will stop pretending they have powers they do not,” he said.

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