New opportunities await as Lord Mayor of London visits Kuwait and UAE

Opportunities in emerging areas such as fintech and green finance will be high up the agenda as the Lord Mayor of London, global ambassador for the UK’s financial and professional services industry, visits Kuwait City, Dubai and Abu Dhabi over the next week (12-17 January) to strengthen trade and investment ties.

Lord Mayor Peter Estlin, who took office in November, will meet 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 £5.6bn with the UAE and £1.5bn with Kuwait as of 2017, up 90% and 76% respectively over the last decade.

As the UK prepares to leave the EU, he 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.

The Lord Mayor 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.

While in Kuwait, he will announce that a Scholarship will be awarded to one exceptional student from Kuwait as part of the Mansion House Scholarship Scheme. This award will be the fifth such Scholarship awarded in Kuwait since the scheme began in 1997.

The City is the global leader for currency trading, fintech, cross-border banking, asset management and much more. It is also the leading centre for Islamic finance outside of the Islamic world, with over £2.5 trillion in assets invested here.

Lord Mayor of London Peter Estlin 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, said:

“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.”

Waqas Samad, CEO, Benchmarks, FTSE Russell said:

“FTSE Russell has been present in the Gulf for a number of years helping provide a wide range of benchmark and analytic solutions to facilitate the growing demand from international investors looking to invest in the region. We are therefore delighted to be joining the Lord Mayor’s delegation to the Gulf, aimed at strengthening the relationships between our markets.”

Peter Estlin is a Senior Adviser to Barclays plc 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. He joined Barclays in 2008 as Group Financial Controller and has been CFO of the Retail & Business Banking and Non-Core divisions as well as Acting Group CFO.

List of organisations joining the delegation:

  • London Stock Exchange Group
  • FTSE Russell
  • Aberdeen Standard Investments
  • Motive Partners
  • Paymentology