2024 marks the 125th anniversary of UK-Kuwait diplomatic relations and the 70th anniversary of the Kuwait Investment Office (KIO) in London. The UK and Kuwait share a strong trade and investment relationship, with the total volume of trade almost doubling last year. Moreover, the UK’s announcement in July that Kuwaiti nationals will be able to travel visa-free using the UK’s Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) scheme from February 2023 will make travel to the UK cheaper and visits cheaper and easier. This, in turn, will further expand business, tourism, and cultural relations.
In a recent visit to Kuwait, UK Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary of State in the Cabinet Office, Oliver Dowden, commemorated with His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Dr. Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, the close and important partnership between Kuwait and the UK for the last 125 years.
Dowden highlighted the multifaceted relationship that extends beyond security and defense to encompass sectors like cybersecurity, investments, education, and culture. He also reinstated the UK’s commitment to cooperating with Kuwait to achieve peace and stability in the Middle East.
Total trade in goods and services between the UK and Kuwait amounted to GBP5.7 billion in the four quarters to the end of 1Q2023, an increase of 118.3%. UK exports of goods to Kuwait increased by 33% in the 12 months to May 2023 compared to the same period the previous year, while UK imports of goods from Kuwait increased by 198.8% over the same period.
In light of these events and of the mutual desire to expand cooperation, The Business Year is leveraging its strong partnerships with governments and businesses in both regions to host an event on bilateral investment opportunities. The event, which will be held in London in March 2024, will gather the leaders at the forefront of both economies to shed light on the most burning issues and opportunities that are shaping ties between the two countries.