The Mayor of the City of London, Alderman William Russell, visited Kuwait from October 6 to 8. The Lord Mayor is an international ambassador for the UK’s financial and professional services industry. The UK is the world’s largest exporter of financial services, worth £ 64 billion. London is home to more foreign banks and has more international bank loans than any other center.
The UK also offers exceptional maritime services, Islamic finance, legal services, insurance, education and infrastructure finance and delivery. The Lord Mayor also heads the City of London Corporation, the Square Mile’s governing body dedicated to a vibrant and prosperous city, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally prosperous UK. During his visit, the Mayor visited His Highness the Prime Minister, Sheikh Sabah Al Khaled Al Sabah, His Excellency Mr. Khalifa Al Musaed Al Hamada, Minister of Finance and Mr. Ghanem Al Ghenaiman, Chairman of the Kuwait Investment Authority . He also met Mr. Nasser Musaed Al Sayer, Group Chairman of the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) and Mr. Ahmed Al Melhem, Chairman of the Capital Markets Authority. At a joint public event, the mayor took the opportunity to address members of the Kuwait Banking Association.
The Lord Mayor’s priorities during the visit included highlighting the upcoming UN climate change conference, CoP26, to be held in Glasgow later this year. The COP26 agenda for 2021 is vitally important in setting the direction and securing commitments from all countries to tackle the worst effects of climate change and limit global warming to 1.5 degrees or less. Along with this goal, the Lord Mayor highlighted how British expertise and innovation in sustainable finance can help the Kuwaiti financial services sector unlock the huge opportunities offered by the green transition.
The Lord Mayor has also sought to deepen the UK’s ties with the Kuwait sovereign wealth fund through the Kuwait Investment Authority, promoting inbound sovereign investments in support of the HMG program. He also promoted opportunities for UK based financial and professional services companies in Kuwait and reaffirmed the important relationship between our two friendly countries. The Mayor of the City of London, William Russell, said: “It is a pleasure to be here in Kuwait and an honor to meet His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al Khaled Al Sabah, Prime Minister of the State of Kuwait. The ties between the UK and Kuwait remain strong and lasting. We welcome Kuwait’s continued vote of confidence in London and the UK economy, with the Kuwait Investment Authority re-committing to spend $ 180 billion in investments through its London office. This creates jobs and shared prosperity for our two countries. “London’s offer to global investors continues to grow. Its unique combination of time zone, language, legal system, global talent and financial services ecosystem makes us a true gateway to global capital and advice. “As the COP26 summit approaches, the UK is keen to see Kuwait become an ally in the fight against climate change. The City of London Corporation will organize a Green Horizon summit at COP26. We are delighted to see that Kuwait has pledged to achieve 15% of its electricity produced from renewable energy by 2030. By working together, UK expertise and innovation in sustainable finance can help the Kuwaiti financial services sector to unlock the enormous opportunities offered by the green transition.
HE the British Ambassador to Kuwait, Ms. Belinda Lewis, said: “The Lord Mayor’s visit underscores the close cooperation between Kuwait and the United Kingdom in the field of financial and professional services. The Corporation of London, headed by the Lord Mayor, has a fascinating history stretching back centuries and the City of London remains today a vibrant and cosmopolitan pool of talent. London and the UK have a truly global outlook, eager to partner with others to share leading expertise and professionalism. “
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