I am delighted to have been invited to provide a foreword to this second edition of the ‘Doing Business in Saudi Arabia’ guide.
The UK has a strong historic relationship with Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom is our largest trading partner in the Middle East and a dynamic economy with ambitious and well-funded plans for development. With a population of some 28 million and GDP increasing by some 6% a year, the Saudi market offers many high value opportunities.
Britain is the Kingdom’s second largest cumulative investor, with approximately 200 joint ventures estimated to be worth around £11.5 billion. UK visible exports to Saudi Arabia were worth over £3 billion in 2012 – an increase of 6% on the previous year – with a further £4.4 billion in exports of services. There is also considerable Saudi investment in the UK.
I am pleased that many new UK companies are now setting up operations in Saudi Arabia in response to the opportunities available. Strong relationships, maximising local content and the employment of Saudi nationals are increasingly the route to successful business here.
I am confident that that this guide will assist those companies interested in doing business in the Kingdom. I also encourage companies to contact my experienced UK Trade & Investment team in Saudi Arabia which is well equipped to advise British companies wishing to enter and compete in the Saudi market, as well as to help Saudi companies looking for UK partners.
Sir John Jenkins KCMG LVO
British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia