With deals worth $100 bln, Mohammed bin Salman means business in UK

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The whole of London welcomed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Britain, where the city took up billboards that celebrate his efforts to bring about radical changes in Saudi Arabia -open it to the world, as well as his efforts to empower Saudi women.

The British Prime Minister Theresa May also confirmed that Gulf security ensures the security of Britain and the prosperity of the Gulf means Britain's prosperity.

The UK media chose to use “MBS means business” to highlight the financial benefits of the Saudi Crown Prince’s first official visit.

Prince Mohammed’s visit to The United Kingdom is expected to see deals worth $100 billion signed, the Financial Times reported.

This move includes agreements with the private sector and memorandums of understanding between the two countries seeking cooperation in technology, education and security.

Saudi Arabia's long-term economic ties are strong over many areas, as The United Kingdom is the second largest foreign investor in Saudi Arabia after the United States.

There are about 300 joint ventures between the two parties with a total investment of $17.5 billion.

Over the past five years, bilateral trade between Saudi Arabia and Britain has risen by 2.3 billion pounds ($3.19 bln). Saudi Arabia is Britain's largest trading partner in the Middle East.

In 2016, trade in goods and services amounted to about £ 9 billion ($12.47 bln).

Since 2010, Saudi Arabia has been the third fastest growing market in the world for UK exports, and the third fastest growing market for its imports of commodities as well.

The United Kingdom is expected to export renewable energy goods and services to Saudi Arabia for more than £ 300 million ($415.81 mln) by 2023, and the British entertainment company Vue International has signed a partnership to open 30 cinemas in Saudi Arabia.

Relations between the two countries also extend to the tourism sector, with London being the most visited Western destination from the Gulf, with Saudis accounting for 20 percent of these visits and spending around 2,400 pounds per trip.

Saudi visits to Britain are expected to increase 20% by 2020. About 100,000 Britons visit Saudi Arabia each year, including 24,000 Britons who come to Mecca for Hajj and Umrah.

This article is also available in Arabic.

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