Saudi delegation hopes to secure $624b from UK investors
In the hopes of securing funds for various projects worth some $624 billion, a team of high-profile Saudi figures will travel next week to the UK to meet with British investors.
Saudi Arabia, which last month was inducted into the World Trade Organization (WTO), is seeking investment in various sectors, including petrochemicals and natural gas, desalination, power generation, railways and tourism.
The delegation, which includes businessmen and senior government officials, will attend various events in an effort to open the kingdom's economy, reported Arab News.
“These are not privatizations ... but investment opportunities between Saudi (public and private) firms and foreign partners,” stressed Omar Bahlaiwa, secretary general of the foreign trade development committee at the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
Of the vital sectors for which the delegation is seeking investment, infrastructure is thought to be the biggest investment opportunity, in the range of some $140 billion, according to Bahlaiwa.
Saudi Arabia's petrochemical sector comes second with $92 billion projects planned, while electricity and water come in third with $88.9 billion.
Telecommunications, tourism and natural gas follow behind with $60 billion, $53.3 billion, and $50 billion, respectively.
Saudi Arabia is the largest trading partner of Britain in the Middle East, while British investments in the Kingdom stand at $3.5 billion, reflecting more than 150 joint Saudi-British investment projects.
The Saudi economy has an annual growth rate of more than seven percent, which is the largest in the Middle East.