Opportunities in emerging areas such as fintech and green finance will be high on the agenda as the Lord Mayor of London visits key Gulf cities.
Lord Mayor Peter Estlin, the global ambassador for the UK’s financial and professional services industry, is visiting Kuwait City, Dubai and Abu Dhabi this week to strengthen trade and investment ties.
Estlin, who took office in November, is meeting with sovereign fund investors and senior figures from the region’s financial sector during the visit, including the Kuwait Investment Authority, Mubadala Investment Company and Abu Dhabi Investment Council.
Kuwait and the UAE are among the fastest growing markets for UK services globally, with total services trade at £5.6 billion with the UAE and £1.5 billion with Kuwait as of 2017.
As the UK prepares to leave the EU, Estlin will be reiterating the underlying strengths and depth of the industry in both the UK and London, accompanied by delegation of five leading UK organisations.
He will also discuss emerging opportunities for collaboration between the region and the UK, and will underline the common commitment between the UK, Kuwait and UAE towards free and open trade.
He said: “I’m delighted to be visiting Kuwait and UAE for my first overseas visit of 2019. In these two countries there is huge further potential for collaboration with UK companies.
“British business and innovation across financial and professional services has much to offer partners in the region, whether it be in currency trading and asset management, or growing areas like fintech and green finance.
“I’m looking forward to meeting key stakeholders in the region to scope out new partnership opportunities and boost collaboration as we embark upon a new chapter in our trading history.”
International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox MP, added: “As the UK takes control of its independent trade policy for the first time in 40 years, markets such as the UAE will provide exciting export and investment opportunities for UK companies.
“My international economic department stands ready to drive trade between our two countries, and I would encourage any business that wants to build or strengthen ties with their UK counterparts to contact our regional Trade Commissioner, Simon Penney, as well as our network of overseas offices.”
Estlin is a senior adviser to Barclays having joined in 2008. Most of his career has been spent in banking, initially as CFO for Salomon Brothers Asia, then CFO for Citigroup’s Investment and Corporate Banking divisions in New York and London.
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