Saudi Arabia, the largest economy in the Middle East, is currently seeking to boost its financial relations with the UK in line with a bilateral push of the Kingdom to deepen trade and economic ties.
According to reports, the kingdom has authorized Finance Minister Mr. Mohammed Al Jadaan to discuss the draft of a preliminary agreement with the UK Treasury to enhance cooperation in the areas of developing financial and public financial services. The Ministry of Finance was directed to get the approved pact signed and complete the legal procedures thereafter.
Since its exit from the EU at the end of 2020, Britain has sought to forge deeper economic ties with the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) economic community. Britain already has close strategic and defense ties with the Gulf states and wants to boost its trade with the GCC, which reached $40.54 billion in 2020.
Following a meeting of foreign ministers in December in the UK, the two sides signaled they were “setting the stage for a new era” for economic ties.
Substantive talks on a free-trade agreement are expected to begin this year, which was reported after the meeting with Britain’s Foreign Secretary Ms. Liz Truss at Chevening House in Kent, who described the agreement as a “win-win for all parties”.
A trade agreement with the bloc might be concluded by the end of 2022, but in terms of the number of countries involved, London has not ruled out striking bilateral deals, in particular with close allies such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia.