Arab-British Summit Highlights Youth as Key Driver of Regional Economies
The Arab British Economic Summit 2019 (ABES 2019), which kickstarted in London on Wednesday, witnessed the participation of dozens of representatives of major financial institutions, investors and statesmen who came together to explore means of bolstering trade ties and encouraging investment in youth, infrastructure, and renewable energy.
Speakers focused on the importance of investing in the stock of human capital present in the Middle East and North Africa and promoting Arab-British cooperation in energy, education, health, and infrastructure.
The repercussions of Britain's exit from the European Union, named Brexit, dominated official and sideline meetings held at the event. Nevertheless, Brexit was reviewed positively by attending investors who saw the split as an opportunity to push forward economic relations between the two sides.
Elizabeth Symons, Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean, considered the energy, education and health sectors as great sectors offering broad opportunities for cooperation between the UK and Arab countries.
In a statement to Asharq Al-Awsat, lady Symons noted that one of the main sectors in which Britain is distinguished and seeks to enhance cooperation with the region is renewable energy, especially the means of generating them.
She added that the education sector is another prominent area for cooperation anchored in the exchange of knowledge and qualifying youth for modern-day jobs that are heavily reliant on information technology.
She added that the discussions between the participants on the sidelines of the economic summit focused on the funding that may be obtained by investors from the Middle East and North Africa in Britain.
Chairman of the Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC) Sami bin Abdullah Al-Obaidi, for his part, reiterated the need for exerting more efforts on all levels, including both business and government. This is set to maximize trade exchange, strengthen economic partnership, and build joint projects in various producing and industrial sectors.
According to Obaidi, services sectors are also slated to reap the benefits of outcomes achieved in future-held summits, forums, and conferences.
The Saudi official underlined that economic integration between Saudi Arabia and Britain is not new, but dates back years.
“British companies will be one of our best partners in the mega projects of Kingdom Vision 2030,” Obaidi was cited as on the sidelines of ABES, adding that will be achieved through the exchange of experience and advanced entrepreneurship.