RIYADH: Intra-regional trade between Saudi Arabia and the UK is set to receive a boost as top ministers from both countries held talks in London to strengthen economic ties.
As part of the third meeting of the Saudi-British Strategic Partnership Council, the Kingdom’s Commerce Minister, Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi, and the UK’s Investment Minister, Dominic Johnson, discussed ways to further encourage English firms to expand their businesses in the Middle East’s largest economy.
This comes as trade exchange between Saudi Arabia and the UK stood at SR80.7 billion ($21.5 billion) in 2022, reflecting a 68 percent surge when compared to 2021.
While the total value of UK exports to Saudi Arabia stood at SR56.9 billion in 2022, the total value of imports from the Kingdom amounted to SR23.8 billion.
The two ministers also discussed ways to promote and finance emerging companies in promising fields based on research and innovation while reviewing the British experience in developing entrepreneurship.
Led by Al-Qasabi, the Saudi delegation includes Deputy Minister of Commerce and CEO of the National Competitiveness Center Iman Al-Mutairi as well as 45 officials from 22 private and non-profit government agencies.
The delegation will participate in important meetings with the British government and business officials to bolster economic cooperation between the two nations.
The agenda of the visit also entails meetings between the minister and top British business leaders including the CEO of Rolls-Royce, Tufan Erginbilgic, besides several other engagements with officials from the British Accreditation Authority.
The Saudi delegation will also participate in a dialogue with members of the Asian House, which is a think tank interested in promoting trade exchange between Asia, the Middle East and Europe.
Some of the other members who are part of the Saudi delegation include representatives from the ministries of trade, energy, investment, education, culture, tourism, and municipal and rural affairs and housing.
The Saudi Central Bank, the Public Investment Fund, the General Authority for Foreign Trade, the National Center for Competitiveness, and the Center Saudi Economic Business are also represented during the visit.
Established in 2008, the Saudi-British Strategic Partnership Council aims to reinforce relations between the Kingdom and the UK.
It also seeks to commit to a deeper and more strategic partnership to enhance the mutual interests of both countries.