June 2, 2023

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Saudi-British intentions to cooperate on critical minerals

British Business and Trade Secretary Kimmy Badenoch began her Gulf visit by signing a letter of intent with Saudi Arabia to promote cooperation in the critical minerals sector. Ensure commitment to co-develop critical mineral supply chains necessary for the global transition to carbon neutrality.

At the ministry’s headquarters in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, the Deputy Minister for Mining Affairs, Engr. In the presence of Khalid Al-Muthaifar, Saudi Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar Al-Qorayeb and Patenok signed the letter.

A greener future

Al-Korayef explained that the move comes within the framework of raising the level of cooperation in the bilateral relations between the two countries in the industrial and mining sectors and supports joint global efforts to achieve the green future desired by the countries of the world. . New and sustainable sources of essential minerals are needed.

Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom share a vision aimed at ensuring the availability of minerals necessary for the transition to clean energy, while maintaining high standards of sustainability, as this letter of intent will allow both countries to diversify critical supply chains. Minerals for many metal-intensive industries, including the production of electric cars, aviation, defense and renewable energy.

For her part, UK Business and Trade Secretary Kimmy Badenock confirmed, “Critical minerals are essential to our daily lives, including electric cars, medical devices, wind turbines and solar panels.” He said he signed the letter. The objective with Saudi Arabia is to enhance the partnership between the two countries in developing supply chain and cooperation.

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Increase distribution

The project aims to increase and diversify global sources of supply of critical minerals. It prioritizes sustainable and responsible production of critical minerals, promotes alternative and recycling, and focuses on developing a common understanding of critical minerals strategies and flexibility of supply chains. Develop a unified vision for key minerals and the mining and minerals sector that adheres to standards, promotes the global environment and the rights of communities and workers.

The letter of intent seeks to coordinate with multilateral forums on critical mineral supply chains, engage the private sector in defining key new mineral supply chains, explore joint investment opportunities, and identify opportunities for collaboration on cleaner mining technologies, resource efficiency, substitution and others. It also aims to facilitate knowledge sharing on related technologies, projects, capacity building and practical initiatives related to critical minerals.

important metal

A “vital metal” is defined as a material essential to the economic well-being of the world’s major and emerging economies, the supply of which may be at risk; Due to geographical rarities, geopolitical issues, trade policy or other factors.

After the Saudi Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources and the Minister of Commerce and Trade signed the Memorandum of Understanding (Asharq Al-Awsad).

Gulf cruise

It is noteworthy that British Trade and Commerce Minister Kimmy Badenoch visited the Middle East countries to make progress in the UK’s aspirations to have a modern and comprehensive trade agreement with the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Badenok’s tour includes Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE, and extends to five days this week. The trade agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council is expected to increase the volume of mutual trade with the region by 16 percent.

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2022 sees a significant increase in British services exports to the region, including the expansion of services by innovative environmentally friendly British companies across the Gulf region.

During his visits to Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates this week, the Business and Trade Secretary will hold talks to urge GCC ministers to make progress on the UK’s aspirations for a modern and comprehensive trade agreement with the GCC.

According to the British Center for Government Media and Communications, Minister Patenoch will meet with ministers from these countries and the new Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Jassim Al-Budaywi, and will also speak to business leaders. And investors need to build on the level of investment received in the UK – which currently exceeds £15.7 billion – to achieve the British government’s priority of boosting the economy.

Strong ties between Britain and the Gulf

Ahead of his tour, Commerce and Trade Minister Kimi Patenok said, “We already have strong trade and investment ties with the Gulf countries, but I am determined to strengthen them even further. The GCC represents a huge opportunity for British businesses, whether it’s selling fantastic British food and drink products in new markets, or providing new consumers to our thriving digital commerce and renewable energy sectors.

“I know that my colleagues share the same ambition to achieve this agreement and I am ready to match their ambition,” he added.

The visit comes at a time when the total volume of bilateral trade between the United Kingdom and GCC countries is expected to reach £61.3 billion by 2022.

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The United Kingdom began negotiations with the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council in 2022 and has completed three rounds of negotiations so far.

The countries of the Gulf region combined are the seventh largest export market for the United Kingdom. Its demand for British goods and services is set to grow rapidly to reach £1 trillion by 2035, an increase of more than 75 per cent.