UK to cooperate with Saudi Arabia over Vision 2030 plan

UK to cooperate with Saudi Arabia over Vision 2030 plan
From left: Baroness Symons, co-chair of the Saudi-British Joint Business Council; Dr. Ghassan Al-Sulaiman, governor of Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises; and Sheikh Nasser Al-Mutawa Al-Otaibi, at the Saudi/UK SME Partnership Forum held in Dammam on Tuesday. (AN photo)
Updated 05 April 2017

UK to cooperate with Saudi Arabia over Vision 2030 plan

UK to cooperate with Saudi Arabia over Vision 2030 plan

RIYADH: Britain has pledged its fullest cooperation with Saudi Arabia to achieve the aims of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and National Transformation Program (NTP) 2020.
Baroness Symons, co-chair of the Saudi-British Joint Business Council, said in Dammam that with the UK leaving the EU, her country intends to build new partnerships with private-sector companies in the Kingdom.
She spoke to Arab News following the Saudi/UK SME Partnership Forum organized by the Saudi-British Joint Business Council in Dammam. Her visit to Saudi Arabia coincides with that of British Prime Minister Theresa May.
Sheikh Nasser Al-Mutawa Al-Otaibi, co-chair of the Saudi-British Joint Business Council, also addressed the event.
Baroness Symons announced that there will be a follow-up meeting to be held soon in London. The Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) sector is seen as a key area in which the UK could cooperate and contribute its expertise, as well as one in which a large number of local youths could be employed.
Al-Otaibi said the event followed a forum for Saudi-British tech entrepreneurs held in London in 2015.
“Small business creation and technology innovation are vital to the growth of both our economies, and Saudi Vision 2030 has set important goals in this respect,” Al-Otaibi added.
He pointed out that Saudi private-sector firms look forward to exchanging experience on how SMEs can best access energy industry supply chains, for mutually beneficial partnership, as well as benefiting from finance and other support.
Support for innovative smaller companies and technology partnerships was the focus of this week’s forum.
The event brought together some 100 Saudi and British SMEs interested in forming partnerships and meeting potential clients.
Among the keynote speakers were Dr. Ghassan Al-Sulaiman, governor of Saudi Arabia’s newly established General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises; Fahd Al-Sukait of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs; and Abdulaziz Al-Abdulkarim, vice president of procurement and supply chain management at Saudi Aramco.
The 40-strong UK delegation included leading energy companies based in Saudi Arabia such as Petrofac, Amec Foster Wheeler and Wood Group. A Scottish oil and gas mission organized by Scottish Development International also participated.