The Emir will meet with UK businesses at Lancaster House today to discuss the benefits of UK-Kuwaiti business partnerships. This will be followed by a networking reception for UK businesses to find out more about potential opportunities in Kuwait.
The event comes as new commercial deals were signed between UK companies and Kuwait:
· A letter of mutual intent for the development of the Kuwaiti Security Programme will be signed. The Kuwaitis will provide an initial investment to FCO Services (a trading fund of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office) to fund the first phase of a programme of works to enhance Kuwait’s homeland security. This represents a major opportunity for the UK’s defence and security industries.
· Capita Symonds, a leading firm of architects, has just been awarded a multi million pound contract for the design review and construction supervision of a 415 bed expansion programme to the existing Amiri Hospital in Kuwait. The project, which will be undertaken in association with local firm Gulf Consult, is expected to last four years and will require the input of Capita Symonds professional staff over this period in UK and Kuwait.
· The Kuwait Investment Office, which was set up nearly sixty years ago, has announced a long term roadmap for investing in the UK. The decision will allow, for the first time, large scale investment into UK infrastructure projects.
Lord Marland said:
“The economic relationship between our two countries is flourishing. The Prime Minister visited Kuwait in February 2011, where he stated our intent to double bilateral trade to £4 billion by 2015.
“I am very pleased to say that we are well on the way to doing that, with exports on goods from the UK up 17% for the first 8 months of 2012 compared with the same period in 2011, while the services sector saw a 13% increase in 2011 compared with the previous year. This is a trend we will work extremely hard to sustain over the next few years.”
Anas al-Saleh, Minister Commerce and Industry, State of Kuwait, said:
“Kuwait is very much open for business. The announcement of both public and private sector commercial deals truly shows Britain’s confidence in Kuwait. Meanwhile, Britain remains one of Kuwait’s most important trading partners, as evidenced by the 60th anniversary of the Kuwaiti Investment Office in London, the oldest sovereign wealth fund in the UK.
“The State Visit of His Highness The Emir of Kuwait to the UK has provided the opportunity to maintain and build on the relationships that are at the heart of the close friendship between our two countries. Today’s announcements highlight that our business relationships are just as important as our diplomatic ones, and demonstrate the continued long-term commitment that Kuwait has made to the UK.”
Notes for editors
1. Images from HH The Emir’s meetings at Lancaster House will be available via the Press Association. Please contact Pelham Bell Pottinger for details: +44 (0)20 7861 1604.
2. UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is the Government Department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. We also help overseas companies bring their high quality investment to the UK’s economy – acknowledged as Europe’s best place from which to succeed in global business. UKTI offers expertise and contacts through its extensive network of specialists in the UK, and in British embassies and other diplomatic offices around the world. We provide companies with the tools they require to be competitive on the world stage. For more information on UKTI, visit www.ukti.gov.uk or visit the online newsroom at www.ukti.gov.uk/media.
3. The Government's economic policy objective is to achieve 'strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries.' It set four ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’ (PDF 1.7MB), published at Budget 2011:
· To create the most competitive tax system in the G20
· To make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
· To encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
· To create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe.
Work is underway across Government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the Government wants the economy to travel.