COUNCIL OF SAUDI CHAMBERS: CSC Delegation Heads to UK for SMEs Forum

Source:  Council of Saudi Chambers
Source: Council of Saudi Chambers

Council of Saudi Chambers issued the following announcement on April 23.

A delegation representing the Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC) led by Eng. Nasser Al Motawa is embarking on a four-day business trip to the United Kingdom with the aim of fostering economic relations between the two friendly countries.

The delegation includes around 30 SMEs business owners and representatives, led by the SMEs General Authority. The trip program includes the third Saudi-UK SMEs Partnership Forum, and the semi-annual meeting of the Saudi-British Joint Business Council, co-chaired by Baroness Symons and Eng. Al Motawa.

Eng. Al Motawa described the trip as a significant step following the historic visit of HRH Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the UK last March. He pointed to the positive impact of the Crown Prince’s visit on relations between the two countries’ business communities, culminated with the formation of the Strategic Partnership Council, which will serve as the leading entity in fostering all aspects of bilateral relations, mainly on the economic front. In addition to the signed MoUs to cooperate in education, healthcare, entertainment, and culture in line with the Saudi Vision 2030.

The co-Chairperson of the Saudi-British Joint Council added that the Forum, set to take place in London on April 24, would see participation of more than 100 Saudi and British companies that represent SMEs, business incubators, and leading businesses in the field. On the next day, the CSC delegation is scheduled to visit business incubators at Oxford, alongside field trips to a number of institutions and innovation centers.

Per Al Motawa, the Saudi-British Joint Business Council meeting, scheduled on April 26, will explore investment opportunities to sustain Saudi-British relations, and set a roadmap for the two countries’ future relations in light of the Saudi Vision 2030 and National transformation Program 2020, which coincided with Brexit. He additionally noted that both sides of the joint council agreed to work in line with the guidelines of the joint declaration of the Kingdom and the UK following the Crown Prince’s meeting with the British PM.

Al Motawa expects a significant shift in the two business communities’ cooperation, citing the joint declaration’s directive to form taskforces in the private sector that specialize in priority sectors such as education, healthcare, culture, entertainment, investment and trade. The aim is to expand the scope of cooperation between the two countries, especially regarding privatization, assets management, technology, real estate, and knowledge-based sciences.

It is worth noting that the UK has around 58.000 technology companies, and many innovation centers, including Tech City UK and the Regional Centers of Excellence. The UK attracted investments worth USD 7 bn in financial technology, making it the second largest investor in the field next to the USA. Moreover, the UK spends around USD 38 bn annually with the increasing demands on digital services. With the launching of the Saudi Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia became the largest market for IT and communications in MENA.

Al Motawa mentioned that in its former and current session, the Saudi-British Joint Business Council focused on specific target sectors, and launched various initiatives in this regard, prior to the launching of the Saudi Vision 2030, which indicates that the joint council has had its finger on the pulse of the Kingdom’s endeavors regarding development plans.

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