Britain and Saudi Arabia target 65 billion pound trade and investment ties

Michele Moreno
March 10, 2018

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II welcomed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Wednesday at the start of a controversial state visit where he faces questions over Riyadh's involvement in the Yemen war.

One of the most important aspects of the Crown Princes' visit is to set the message that Saudi Arabia is a reliable partner and that the Kingdom is indeed open for business and is looking for global support for his internal economic reforms while at the same time trying to offer reassurance to nervous worldwide investors given the quick pace of internal reforms and anti-corruption campaigns to ensure a level playing field for all parties.

"Providing access to opportunities for people to reach their full potential is core to our mission and Ford's goal of becoming the world's most trusted mobility company", said Jim Vella, President, Ford Fund.

However, Prince Salman said Qatar would not be barred from attending an Arab summit hosted by Saudi Arabia later this month. As the British government officials have pointed out, this has in turn supported "tens of thousands" of United Kingdom jobs. It has armed and supported the Saudi military for years, with United Kingdom fighter jets and bombs playing a central role in the destruction of Yemen.

Speakers at the first panel discussion, titled "An Era of Transformation: From Vision to Implementation" included Minister of Energy, Mining and Mineral Resources Khalid Al-Falih, Minister of Commerce and Investment Majed Al-Kasabi, Minister of Economy and Planning Muhammad Al-Tuwaijri, UK Special Representative on Saudi Vision 2030 Ken Costa, CEO of Dow Chemical Andrew Liveris and British Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion Baroness Fairhead.

May said she planned to raise humanitarian concerns with Mohammed at the meeting, which was expected to continue Thursday at her country estate.

The Archbishop also "voiced his distress at the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, and asked that all that is possible be done to alleviate the suffering of civilian populations and to seek an end to the conflict", Lambeth Palace said.

The spokeswoman said the summit yielded "a landmark ambition" for around £65 billion (73 billion euros, $90 billion) of mutual trade and investment opportunities in coming years in areas ranging from education to defence.

He added that the Saudi-UK Strategic Partnership brings together eight joint programs.

May defended herself when questioned by her political opponent, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, at the weekly "Prime Minister's Questions" session in parliament.

"Behind the smiles and handshakes on show tomorrow, and despite Prince Mohammed bin Salman's attempts to be a poster boy for progress, there are some uncomfortable truths about his repressive government that must not be forgotten", she wrote in an editorial for The Independent. May's spokesman said British personnel had no role in carrying out coalition air strikes, and were not involved in Saudi targeting decisions.

Other reports by Insurance News

Discuss This Article