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Home » Events » Saudi Arabia to Host The “GREAT FUTURES” UK-Saudi  Expo in Riyadh, May 2024
Saudi Arabia to Host The “GREAT FUTURES” UK-Saudi  Expo in Riyadh, May 2024
Saudi Arabia to Host The GREAT FUTURES UK-Saudi Expo in Riyadh May 2024

The UK Government in partnership with Saudi Arabia, is set to organize a major trade expo in Riyadh’s KAFD from May 14th to 15th, 2024. 

Deputy UK Prime Minister Oliver Dowden is due to lead a 300+ strong British delegation showcasing innovation across various sectors including including tourism, research, education, trade, and hospitality. 

The expo will host around 750 delegates and focus on enhancing economic and cultural ties between the two countries.

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The Ambitious GREAT FUTURES Trade Expo

Image Credit Crown

The GREAT FUTURES Trade Expo is an ambitious program to foster stronger business, tourism, and cultural exchanges between the two nations. 

The event will host around 750 delegates over two days in Riyadh’s King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD), a modern financial hub symbolizing Saudi Arabia’s economic transformation.

Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden will lead a substantial British delegation of over 300 members. This delegation is a powerful representation of the UK’s excellence and innovation across various sectors.

The Vision of GREAT FUTURES Expo

Image Credit Twitter HRH Prince Mohammad Bin Salman AISaud

The GREAT FUTURES Trade Expo is a launchpad for a year-long campaign to highlight the UK’s expertise and capabilities across sectors that align with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030. 

Vision 2030, initiated by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman eight years ago, aims to diversify Saudi Arabia’s economy from oil dependency and build a future-ready nation with a broad range of industries.

The Expo will focus primarily on two areas of collaboration over two days to help bolster ties between the two countries.

Day One: Innovation and Collaboration

Image Credit Crown

The first day of the event will primarily revolve around innovation through research collaboration. The focus will be on disruptive technologies, emerging clean tech, finance, and sustainable construction. 

Image Credit Crown

Representatives from both nations will discuss potential partnerships and collaborative opportunities that can contribute to the growth and development of these sectors.

Image Credit The PIF

Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden commented, “GREAT FUTURES will be an important opportunity to forge partnerships for the future between the UK’s most creative and innovative companies and their Saudi business and Government counterparts.”

Day Two: Quality of Life Sectors

Image Credit Crown

The second day of the expo will concentrate on the Quality of Life sector. This will encompass discussions around art, fashion, media, education, sport, architecture, and tourism. The goal for this day is to explore how these sectors can be enhanced through the combined efforts of both nations.

The Role of the Deputy Prime Minister

Image Credit Facebook Oliver Dowden

As the head of the British delegation, Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden will play a crucial role in the GREAT FUTURES Trade Expo. His leadership will be instrumental in showcasing the best of the UK’s innovation and excellence and building strategic partnerships with their Saudi counterparts. 

Dowden’s optimism about the event reflects the UK’s commitment to share its knowledge base with the world and strengthen its connections in areas that align with the Vision 2030 agenda.

Deepening Diplomatic Ties

Image Credit AP Images

The UK and Saudi Arabia have a rich history of diplomatic partnership and strong economic and commercial links. The GREAT FUTURES Trade Expo will be a milestone in this enduring relationship.

A Post Brexit Future

As a result of the UK leaving its largest trading partner, the European Union due to Brexit, the UK government is trying to ensure businesses can seize the opportunities by trying to secure new trade deals worldwide. 

Since leaving the EU, the UK has secured trade deals with 73 countries plus the EU, accounting for £1.1 trillion of trade in 2022 and is looking for more to make up for lost trade in an attempt to boost GDP.

Trade Growth between the UK and Saudi Arabia

Bilateral trade between the UK and Saudi Arabia has grown significantly recently. According to a statement from Dowden’s office, bilateral trade reached £16.5 billion ($20.4 billion) in 2022, up from £12.1 billion in 2018. 

Views from Saudi Arabia

Minister of Commerce for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Majid bin Abdullah Al Kassabi, expressed pride in hosting this significant event. He says the event marks the beginning of an extended and productive partnership focused on innovation, technology, and flourishing cultural sectors. 

Saudi Arabia looks forward to collaborating with the UK Government and the private sector to realize the ambitions of Vision 2030.

Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden commented, “Our two nations work closely on security and energy. We look forward to strengthening those connections in new areas that feed the Vision 2030 agenda.”

Views from the UK

Minister for Investment at the Department for Business and Trade, Lord Johnson, pointed out that the UK has a thriving trade and investment relationship with Saudi Arabia. 

The GREAT FUTURES Trade Expo will further strengthen these ties, providing huge opportunities for businesses in both countries as they collaborate more closely in crucial sectors such as innovation and creative industries.

New Opportunities for Collaboration

The upcoming GREAT FUTURES trade expo and subsequent year-long campaign promise to create new opportunities for collaboration between the UK and Saudi Arabia. By fostering economic growth and diversification, the partnership will contribute to the prosperity of both nations.

The GREAT FUTURES Trade Expo is a testament to the strong bond between Saudi Arabia and the UK. As the two nations unite to share their expertise and explore new opportunities, the event promises to be a landmark in their diplomatic relations. 

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