Britain to host major trade expo in Saudi Arabia showcasing best of UK excellence and innovation

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In partnership with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Government, the UK Government’s GREAT Britain and Northern Ireland campaign is holding a major business, tourism and cultural expo in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on 14 and 15 May 2024.

The flagship event will host around 750 delegates for a two-day exposition in Riyadh’s King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD).

The Deputy Prime Minister, Oliver Dowden, will spearhead a 300+ strong British delegation which will showcase the best of UK excellence and innovation.

GREAT FUTURES flagship event is the launch for a 12-month campaign to highlight UK expertise and capability in sectors that support Saudi Arabia’s ‘Vision 2030’. 

Vision 2030 is the Saudi government’s strategy to diversify the economy, boost productivity, and strengthen competitiveness. Its flagship programme, including five lead ‘giga projects’, will attract $3 trillion investment by 2030 to build the industries of the future, while also serving as a showcase of the nation’s geographical richness, cultural heritage, hospitality, business dynamism, and commitment to social inclusion, and environmental sustainability.

The UK has advanced specialist expertise in these industries and its delegation will include senior business leaders from across the UK which represent key sectors including tourism, education, clean tech, trade, insurance, fashion, architecture, sport and culture. 

Deputy Prime Minister, Oliver Dowden, commented:

GREAT FUTURES will be an important opportunity to forge partnerships for the future between the UK’s most creative and innovative companies and their Saudi business and Government counterparts.  

I’m delighted to be leading such a talented delegation to this landmark event. From emerging technologies to academia the UK has an exceptional skill base to share with the world. 

Our two nations work closely on security and energy. We look forward to strengthening those connections in new areas that feed the Vision 2030 agenda.

Deputy Prime Minister, Oliver Dowden. Photo credit: UK Gov

The UK and Saudi Arabia have a deep historic relationship, based on a long history of working together diplomatically and strong economic and commercial links. 

The event will focus primarily on two areas of collaboration between the UK and Saudi Arabia:

  • Innovation in research collaboration, disruptive technologies, emerging clean tech, finance and sustainable construction 
  • Quality of Life sectors, encompassing art, fashion, media, education, sport, architecture and tourism

The government is ensuring that businesses can seize the opportunities of Brexit, which is why we’re doing trade deals around the world. Since the PM has been in office, we’ve joined the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, and since leaving the EU, have secured trade deals with 73 countries plus the EU, accounting for £1.1 trillion of trade in 2022, and 7 US state-level MOUs, with a combined GDP of £3.3 trillion – just under the GDP of Germany.

Minister of Commerce for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Majid bin Abdullah Al Kassabi, commented:

Saudi Arabia is very proud to be hosting this major event and bringing together leading minds in business, academia and entertainment from both of our nations.

This event heralds the beginning of an extended and productive partnership focused on innovation, technology and our flourishing cultural sectors. We look forward to collaborating with the UK Government and the private sector to realise the ambitions of Vision 2030.

Minister for Investment at the Department for Business and Trade, Lord Johnson, added: 

The UK has a thriving trade and investment relationship with Saudi Arabia, and this campaign will strengthen those ties further.

There are huge opportunities for businesses in both countries as we look to work closer together in important sectors such as innovation and creative industries. I look forward to showcasing the best of British innovation and creativity on a global stage.

Source: Cabinet Office and The Rt Hon Oliver Dowden CBE MP

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