UK targets Gulf states for post-Brexit trade deal

UK targets Gulf states for post-Brexit trade deal
UK International Trade Secretary Liz Truss says the Gulf is an area for potential trade with post Brexit Britain. (File/AFP)
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Updated 27 May 2021

UK targets Gulf states for post-Brexit trade deal

UK targets Gulf states for post-Brexit trade deal
  • Gulf Cooperation Council among Britain’s top trading partners
  • International trade secretary: ‘We are in discussions with the GCC and I hope that we’ll be able to say more about that soon’

LONDON: The UK has its sights set on trade deals with the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), according to International Trade Secretary Liz Truss.

“The Gulf is a definite target and we are working on the approach to (the) Gulf,” Truss told the Daily Telegraph.

“We are in discussions with the GCC and I hope that we’ll be able to say more about that soon.”

The GCC — comprising Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar — makes up a significant proportion of Britain’s international trade.

In 2019, the UK’s trade with the six Gulf states was worth around $63.5 billion, putting the GCC behind only the US, China and the EU in value of trading partners.

Truss is also closing in on a potentially lucrative investment deal with Mubadala, the UAE’s sovereign wealth fund, which a source told the Daily Telegraph is “getting some real traction now” after a “couple of very big meetings.”

Mubadala is said to be targeting investment in the UK’s health, clean energy, infrastructure and technology sectors, in what could be a significant boost to Britain’s post-Brexit economy.

Since the UK’s decision to leave the EU was implemented at the beginning of this year, the country has been pushing hard for trade deals with its existing trade partners and allies.

Last year, the British government announced a review into UK-GCC trade, and said in a statement: “With the United Kingdom embarking on its new independent trade policy outside of the European Union, and with GCC Member States delivering their economic diversification and vision plans, now is the moment for the United Kingdom and the GCC to build on their historic and deep friendship to develop even closer economic ties, boosting our trade and investment further still.”

It added: “We celebrate the strength of the bilateral relationship, nowhere more apparent than through our continued collaboration on the Covid-19 pandemic, and share an ambition of boosting our businesses, delivering new investment, creating new jobs and ensuring prosperity in the years to come.”


Saudi Arabia's Net Zero goals are important developments since Paris agreement: John Kerry

Saudi Arabia's Net Zero goals are important developments since Paris agreement: John Kerry
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Updated 57 min 22 sec ago

Saudi Arabia's Net Zero goals are important developments since Paris agreement: John Kerry

Saudi Arabia's Net Zero goals are important developments since Paris agreement: John Kerry
  • He said no government in the world has the money to fight climate actions alone

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s nationally determined contributions and net zero carbon goals are important developments since the Paris agreement John Kerry, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, told delegates at the Middle East Green Initiative.

The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change signed at COP 21 in Paris, on 12 December 2015.

He said as a result of US diplomatic efforts, many countries are now taking bolder climate actions.

Science is playing a bigger role today in shaping climate actions, he said.

“This is the biggest market opportunity the world has known with 4 to 5 billion users. I see trillion dollars to be invested" in the energy transition market opportunities, he added.

He said no government in the world has the money to fight climate actions alone, and countries need the private sector to support these efforts.

He highlighted that the global financial industry is helping tens of trillion of dollars to be moved into the energy transition market.

He warned that countries must work to reduce emissions in the next 10 years.

“Action to combat climate change must be accelerated,” he said.


More investment needed to make green companies the next Facebook or Google, says BlackRock CEO

More investment needed to make green companies the next Facebook or Google, says BlackRock CEO
Updated 25 October 2021

More investment needed to make green companies the next Facebook or Google, says BlackRock CEO

More investment needed to make green companies the next Facebook or Google, says BlackRock CEO

RIYADH: Environmentally-focused start-ups will make up the next thousand ‘unicorn’ businesses, billionaire businessman Larry Fink has told the Middle East Green Initiative Summit.

The head of US asset management giant BlackRock told delegates at the forum in Riyadh it will be firms producing environmentally-friendly goods and systems that will become the next billion dollar companies  — the threshold for being dubbed a ‘unicorn’.

Fink said governments, financial service companies and multinational institutions need to work together to achieve a net-zero world, as he talked up the role of private sector investment in hitting this target.

Speaking at the event, which is attended by leading figures including the US Climate Change envoy John Kerry, Fink said clean technologies and fuel are more expensive than conventional energy sources due to a “Green Premium".

“To bring down this Green Premium we need to be serious about attracting private capital for technology and technology revolution,” he added.


UK PM Johnson follows Saudi Crown Prince's lead urging 'further faster' action on climate change

UK PM Johnson follows Saudi Crown Prince's lead urging 'further faster' action on climate change
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Updated 25 October 2021

UK PM Johnson follows Saudi Crown Prince's lead urging 'further faster' action on climate change

UK PM Johnson follows Saudi Crown Prince's lead urging 'further faster' action on climate change
  • Prime Minister Johnson also praised Saudi Arabia’s commitment to plant 10 billion trees

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has reiterated the sentiments of the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz at the original announcement of Saudi Green Initiative, saying the world must go “further and faster” to combat climate change by the middle of the century.

In a statement to the inaugural Middle East Green Initiative Summit in Riyadh, Prime Minister Johnson said: “This is a region rich in history - the birthplace of the alphabet, algebra, coffee, the will and much of our civilization. But for many, the region has become most synonymous with fossil fuels. There is now a chance for a new chapter in the history of your region.”

“We must go further and faster if we are to limit the increasing global temperature, and take the necessary action to protect people and nature from the effects of climate change.”

Prime Minister Johnson also praised Saudi Arabia’s commitment to plant 10 billion trees, and the wider regional commitment to plant 50 billion trees highlighted earlier by HRH the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz.

Prime Minister Johnson said: “This inaugural conference tackles the latter two head-on - cash and trees. 10 billion trees to be precise in Saudi Arabia, and 50 billion total across the region. That, my friends, is a lot of trees, and I hope you will match that outstanding level of ambition across all areas where action is needed.”

Earlier, the Crown Prince announced a series of regional programs for climate action to an audience of dozens of heads of state at the event. On Saturday, the Crown Prince also revealed that Saudi Arabia is aiming to achieve net zero emissions by 2060 through the Carbon Circular Economy approach.

The Middle East Green Initiative called for intensifying coordination and joint action to preserve and develop the importance of the environment and vegetation cover in Africa, in addition to establishing the Green Initiative Foundation as an independent non-profit entity to support the summit and raise the level of coordination.


Luxury Eco residential complex deal for Saudi Arabia's Taif region

Luxury Eco residential complex deal for Saudi Arabia's Taif region
Updated 25 October 2021

Luxury Eco residential complex deal for Saudi Arabia's Taif region

Luxury Eco residential complex deal for Saudi Arabia's Taif region
  • The new project will offer premium residential units ranging from apartments, villas, and townhouses

Riyadh - A deal to develop a premium residential project in the governorate of Taif in the Southwest of Saudi Arabia has been agreed between two real estate developers in the Kingdom.

Dar Al-Arkan Real Estate Development Co. has signed a joint agreement with Madinat Al Wouroud Housing Development company to develop the SR3.7 billion ($986m) project on an area of 1 million sqm while 'preserving the topography and unique environmental features of Taif', a statement by the company said.

The development of the new residential project is due to begin in the first quarter of 2022 and is expected to be completed within four years.

The new project will offer premium residential units ranging from apartments, villas, and townhouses in addition to a variety of commercial facilities and amenities. 

The project is aimed at existing residents of Taif and the surrounding area, but will also be marketed at Saudi citizens across the Kingdom as a key destination for the summer tapping into the lucrative second-home market.


Yousef Al Shelash, chairman, Dar Al-Arkan said: "We expect to see high demand for this project in one of the most desirable cities in the Kingdom and Saudi Arabia's unofficial summer capital to enjoy the milder climate, it’s natural beauty and annual cultural festivals."


Saudi-Japan trade boost with MoU

Saudi-Japan trade boost with MoU
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Updated 25 October 2021

Saudi-Japan trade boost with MoU

Saudi-Japan trade boost with MoU
  • It would also create “financial solutions that further facilitate export/import deals and projects pertaining to Saudi-Japanese trade”

Saudi Export Import Bank (Exim) has signed a MoU with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) to increase the provision of financial tools for both Saudi and Japanese importers and exporters.

Exim, a subsidiary of the National Development Fund, added that SMBC will get involved in joint financing and the development of trade, export and project finance transactions, provide credit lines to buyers, explore securitization or letters of credit to creditworthy Saudi exporters and Japanese importers.

It would also create “financial solutions that further facilitate export/import deals and projects pertaining to Saudi-Japanese trade”, a statement by Exim said.

SMBC added this MoU was part of the bank’s effort to be involved on a global level for Saudi exporters, increase Saudi exports through strategic partnerships with national and international financial institutions, build national lending and credit capabilities using expertise provided by the Japanese institution, and bolster Saudi EXIM’s own lending and credit assets to help national exporters.

Saad Alkhalb, Chief Executive Officer of Saudi EXIM, said of the MoU, “This should boost the competitiveness of Saudi products, increase the non-petroleum share of the gross domestic product, and create a more diverse alternative economy.”