Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox said: “Today both kingdoms are transforming their economic prospects and roles in the world.”
Britain is preparing to leave the European Union and trade as an independent nation for the first time in more than 40 years. While, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030 has introduced a program of social and economic reform, with the potential to transform the country and wider Middle East.
“Vision 2030 is vital for the future of Saudi Arabia and the wider region, but it’s also an exciting prospect for the UK. We are a world leader across a range of sectors, and well placed to help with these vital reforms,” commented Fox in the Evening Standard.
Fox added the UK and Saudi Arabia have “agreed a landmark ambition for around £65 billion of mutual trade and investment opportunities over the coming years, including direct investment in the UK and new Saudi public procurement with UK companies.”
With the launch of Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program (NTP) 2020 two years ago, Saudi Arabia has entered a new era of progress and prosperity, with plans to diversify the Kingdom’s economy by reducing dependency on oil, boosting foreign investment and developing various sectors.
Under this program, some governmental bodies and ministries underwent a restructuring process and women are being given greater responsibility in society.
The health, education and tourism sectors are among those undergoing development in the Kingdom and according to Fox, the UK is “a world leader across a range of sectors, and well placed to help with these vital reforms.”
“Take education. More than 130,000 UK qualifications are given out in Saudi Arabia every year. Some 90 Saudi schools already use the UK educational curriculum and our universities are working together, with King Saud University in Riyadh, allocating more than £7 million for partnerships with UK institutions over the next five years,” he said.
Fox went on to say that the UK is also the right partner on health care, promoting tourism, and handling large-scale events.
“Saudi Arabia is on the path of social reform, and it is in our national interest to support our important regional ally. Those who want to see a more liberal and safer region should welcome this vision, which I believe the Crown Prince will deliver,” he concluded.