Saudi investments in Britain reach 60 billion pounds

Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qassabi
Updated 23 July 2016
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Saudi investments in Britain reach 60 billion pounds

LONDON: There are huge Saudi investments in the UK and they amount to nearly 60 billion pounds, according to Minister of Commerce and Investment Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qassabi.
The minister made the remark following participation in the work of the second Gulf-British Economic Forum, organized by the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce, in London.
In a statement to Saudi Press Agency (SPA, he lauded the bilateral commercial ties and pointed out that the official Arab and British attendance at the forum indicates the status of importance that both sides attach to the development of cooperation, in various trade and investment fields.
He explained that Britain is a historical friend and ally of the states of the region and there must be concerted efforts to discuss the opportunities and challenges that contribute to the development of investment bridges between the two sides, especially after Britain's decision to leave the European Union (EU).
Referring to the large expansion that has occurred in trade and investment cooperation between the Gulf and Britain in education, defense and other investment activities, the minister noted that Saudi investments in the UK are huge and the Kingdom's participation in such and other international forums is due to the government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, which has adopted policies that encourage marketing and investment opportunities. This is in line with Saudi Vision 2030, the minister added.
He mentioned that Saudi investments in the UK amounted to nearly 60 billion pounds in various domains.


Time to tear down Mideast trade barriers, Davos panel hears

Updated 23 January 2019
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Time to tear down Mideast trade barriers, Davos panel hears

  • Mohammad Al-Tuwaijri, Saudi minister of economy and planning, said a move to ease movement of traffic across the border could be followed elsewhere
  • Majid Al Futtaim CEO Alain Bejjani: Now there’s this seriousness between Saudi Arabia and the UAE, I hope it gets to frictionless trade

DAVOS: Amid global trade wars and the rise of protectionism, Middle East economic and business leaders on Tuesday issued a clarion call for the exact opposite: To ease customs restrictions in the region.
A panel at Davos heard how an agreement between Saudi Arabia and the UAE to boost cooperation — including the reduction of obstacles to trade across the shared border — could be a blueprint for the wider region.
Mohammad Al-Tuwaijri, Saudi minister of economy and planning, said a move to ease movement of traffic across the border — partly through the use of technology — could be followed elsewhere. “We want to establish a reference for others to follow,” he said.
Alain Bejjani, CEO of retail and leisure group Majid Al Futtaim, said “frictionless trade” would give the region a boost.
“Now there’s this seriousness between Saudi Arabia and the UAE, I hope it gets to frictionless trade,” he told Arab News on the sidelines of the Davos forum.
Bejjani declined to say whether that would involve a customs union, a common market or a common currency. Given the imposition of trade tariffs between the US and China, and the rise of Brexit, globalization — something espoused by many Davos delegates — is seen as on the wane.
But Bejjani said breaking down barriers in the Middle East could help it better compete with Western Europe and the US.
“For the past almost century now… we’ve been ingeniously working on making sure we put barriers across the Arab world. The reality is we have a market that’s as big as most of the largest markets in the world… if we’re smart enough to work together,” he told the Davos panel.
Khalid Al-Rumaihi, chief executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board, agreed that Saudi-UAE cooperation was “a great template” for others to follow.
Aside from “opening up” Middle East markets, Al-Rumaihi said harmonizing regulation in the region would also be beneficial to businesses and entrepreneurs.
“If the rules are changing in each country, if they’re not harmonized, it’s very difficult… for an entrepreneur (to understand) the regulatory environment. So they don’t scale very quickly, and that’s something we need to solve,” he said. Talk of freer trade within the Middle East is especially relevant when it comes to the Palestinian territories, which are subject to Israeli occupation and blockade.
Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said freer movement and a reduction of duties would help the economy grow.
“We need to see our products being waived (of) customs,” he said. “We need mobility — we’re under occupation.”