Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 can build on what is already a strong alliance with Britain — minister

British Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox said Saudi Arabia is on the path of social reform, and it is in our national interest to support our important regional ally. (AFP)
Updated 03 April 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 can build on what is already a strong alliance with Britain — minister

  • UK and KSA have agreed landmark ambition for around £65 billion of mutual trade and investment opportunities
  • Both kingdoms are transforming their economic prospects and roles in the world
LONDON: The relationship between Saudi Arabia and the UK is built on an enduring partnership and this week’s visit has presented significant opportunities for British businesses, said a British trade minister.
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.


Abdullah bin Mohammed Al-Zamil, chairman, Gulf International Bank (GIB) Saudi Arabia

Updated 30 min 29 sec ago
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Abdullah bin Mohammed Al-Zamil, chairman, Gulf International Bank (GIB) Saudi Arabia

Abdullah bin Mohammed Al-Zamil is the new chairman of the board of directors of Gulf International Bank (GIB) Saudi Arabia. He was appointed on March 31, 2019.

Al-Zamil has extensive experience in the private sector. He served as the CEO and a board member of Al-Zamil Group, where he began his professional career in 1987, and was promoted to his latest position as CEO in 2009. 

He began as an industrial engineer at Zamil Air Conditioners and subsequently became vice president for sales and marketing and purchasing and materials management. He served as senior vice president and COO of Zamil Industrial Investment Co.

He was awarded his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of Washington in Seattle, US in 1987. In 1992, he obtained his MBA in finance from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. 

Al-Zamil is a board member of several regional companies, including the General Authority of Civil Aviation, VIVA Bahrain, the Human Resources Development Fund, Gulf International Bank in the UK, and Zamil Steel Industries in Egypt, Vietnam and India. 

He is also the chairman of the board of directors of Saudi Global Ports, LLC (SGP). 

GIB announced on Sunday that it has successfully completed the conversion of its existing branches in Saudi Arabia to a locally incorporated bank.

This makes GIB the first foreign bank in the Kingdom to be locally incorporated. 

“The establishment of GIB Saudi Arabia is an important milestone in the implementation of the bank’s strategy, which remains focused on the expansion of its service offering and position as a leading digital bank and is expected to contribute positively to enhanced performance and profitability,” Al-Zamil said. 

He said that the public investment fund’s contribution and partnership with GIB will enable the bank to accelerate the growth of its operations and customer base in the Kingdom as well as in other Gulf Cooperation Council countries.