SAGIA Governor HE Abdullatif Al-Othman has hailed the success of the Saudi-UK Investment Forum in London on May 20th in introducing UK investors to the opportunities created by the growing Saudi and Arab economies.
Speaking after the conference, HE Governor Abdullatif Al-Othman said: “The resources and expertise that international companies can bring to Saudi Arabia are going to form an important element of our development in the future as we look to grow and diversify our economy. We are delighted at the response we received today.
“Conferences such as this one provide a vital opportunity for us to meet face-to-face with potential investors and outline the opportunities available in the Kingdom. We are very pleased with the progress made today and we look forward to welcoming these investors to Saudi Arabia in the future.”
The Saudi-UK Investment Forum in London, hosted in association with Euromoney Conferences, was held at the Marriott London and included a number of sessions designed to explore the opportunities available to investors to play a role in Saudi Arabia’s economic diversification.
The conference included keynote addresses from H.R.H. Prince Mohamed bin Nawaf bin Abdul Aziz, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United Kingdom, H.E. Eng. Abdullatif A. Al-Othman, Governor of SAGIA, H.E. Mr Mohammed Al-Kharashi, Governor of the Public Pension Agency, Alderman and Sheriff Sir Paul Judge, City of London and Lord Livingston of Parkhead, Minister of State for Trade and Investment, United Kingdom.
The forum also saw a number of panel sessions with industry participants, exploring the opportunities available in the transport, logistics, technology and healthcare sectors.
Saudi Arabia and the UK already share important economic ties with Saudi representing the UK’s largest market in the Middle East and among the top 20 UK export markets globally, with £7.5bn in exports of goods and services in 2012, and overall bilateral trade worth an estimated £15bn per year.
Saudi Arabia’s economy is one of the world’s largest, ranking 19th in the world for its GDP, which has tripled to $727 billion in the past decade alone, while across the wider region 300 million people are within three hours’ flying time from Saudi.
The Kingdom continues to see robust economic expansion – real GDP grew 3.8% in 2013 with the IMF projecting growth of more than 4% in 2014. Saudi Arabia’s commitment to attracting international investment is reflected in the fact that it is ranked 26th globally in the World Bank’s Doing Business report, second in the MENA region and has attracted more than $12bn of FDI in 2012, the most in MENA, and $114bn in the five years 2008-2012, in spite of the global economic downturn.
May A. Bin Dayel, Manager of International Media Relations