LONDON - “The Gulf has real potential to emerge as a substantial financial powerhouse after the global downturn but only through international public and private sector cooperation,” said UK Trade & Investment’s (UKTI) CEO Sir Andrew Cahn on Wednesday.
Sir Andrew’s comments came after reflecting on the achievements of UKTI’s financial services Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) sub-committee in less than a year. The team of six heavyweight experts collaborate with the public and private sector to open doors for financial services business between the UK and region.
Among the milestones include helping major UK insurance operator Cunningham Lindsay to set up operations in Abu Dhabi, with other insurance companies seriously looking to establish themselves in the region.
Sir Andrew added: “The GCC’s financial services sector is small in relation to the size and growth of the economies it serves, so there is considerable room for growth. As the partner of choice, the UK is well-placed to make the most of these opportunities.
“In less than a year the UKTI GCC group of six high-level private sector specialists has, and continues to, cultivate a business environment where UK and Gulf companies can thrive in the future.”
Providing industry insight to UKTI, recently appointed United Arab Emirates (UAE) Special Representative Bashir Siman, outlines the evolving UAE financial services sector:
New Saudi Arabia Special Representative Jason Peers highlights the strong, deep and long established relationship between the UK and Saudi financial services sectors: “British and Saudi Arabian economies’ strengths are highly complementary and working together can help both to flourish in the coming years.”
“This is particularly true for Saudi Arabia as it raises long-term project finance to support its ambitious infrastructure and energy spending programs and stimulate the development of an effective debt capital market,” he added. – Agencies