LONDON: The UK and Saudi Arabia have concluded a round of meetings in which representatives of both countries pledged to supercharge economic relations across key industries.
In a joint statement issued by the countries’ governments, Saudi Commerce Minister Dr. Majid Al-Qasabi and Kwasi Kwarteng, Britain’s secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, pledged to deepen ties across the fintech, energy and sustainable finance sectors.
They “exchanged constructive and fruitful discussions on reinvigorating bilateral relations and strengthening cooperation between the two kingdoms,” the statement said.
They emphasized the rapidly changing energy sector — a cornerstone of British and Saudi cooperation for years — as ripe for deepening ties.
“The UK and Saudi Arabia have enjoyed cordial relations for many decades in the field of energy, and share an expanding mutual interest in climate matters,” said the statement.
“The UK recognises the launch of the Saudi Green Initiative and Middle East Green Initiative as important steps in the Kingdom’s climate ambition and economic diversification agenda.”
Finance, too, is set to benefit from the partnership. “Both sides explored ways of enhancing cooperation on trade and financial services, particularly in the fields of FinTech, Open Banking and Green Finance,” said the statement.
Trade between the two countries is worth billions of dollars per year. According to the British government, despite the coronavirus pandemic, bilateral trade in 2020 was worth £8.5 billion ($11.712 billion).