Alderman Vincent Keaveny, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, and Khalid Al-Falih, the Saudi Minister of Investment, spoke about the prospects for boosting trade and investment between the two nations in light of the current UK-GCC free trade talks. Following the discussion, Keaveny emphasized that UK’s involvement would open up significant potential for closer engagement in services industry enabling  increased diversification and sources of capital inflow as part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.

UK and Saudi Arabia already have a robust trade and investment partnership. Saudi investment through sovereign wealth funds in the UK has had enormous positive effects on both sides, including urban renewal in the UK and knowledge transfer to Saudi Arabia. The Lord Mayor pointed out that there is still scope room for additional investment.

For the first time in his term as mayor, Keaveny has visited Riyadh, leading a significant business delegation. The Lord Mayor represents the UK’s industry-leading financial and professional services on a global scale. The trip reflects Keaveny’s dedication to enhancing commercial ties between the UK and Saudi Arabia.

The delegation met with key Saudi government officials, investment authorities, regulators, and business executives during the tour to strengthen connections and discuss cooperation in insurance and finance sectors.  Since the UK is the most international and linked financial hub in the world and offers unmatched access to global markets, the meeting has gained significant importance.

As a prominent important financial hub, London excels at bringing money into its borders and also dispersing it throughout the globe due to the concentration of foreign banks, asset managers, and institutional investors there. Therefore, British expertise along with the easy access to international markets may assist the Saudi financial services industry to realize its enormous potential.