UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is using her visit to the Gulf, to discuss new partnerships to invest in infrastructure in Africa and Asia.

Press release

On her two-day trip to Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which began yesterday (Wednesday 20 October), she is looking to establish bilateral working groups with Gulf allies to deliver cleaner and more reliable infrastructure and much-needed financing into developing and developed nations.


Truss wants more bilateral investment partnerships to drive forward the Build Back Better World Initiative, which was launched by G7 leaders at the Carbis Bay Summit in June to meet the huge infrastructure needs in low- and middle-income countries after Covid.

Projects could, for example, include building water and energy networks, ports, and roads.

Co-investing in infrastructure and economic development with friends and partners is a key part of the Foreign Secretary’s plan to deepen economic ties with allies and boost jobs and growth both in the UK and the developing world. The Foreign Secretary wants to explore with Gulf governments and investors how to move this ambition forward.

Her visit comes after the UK’s CDC Group, the FCDO’s investment arm, last week announced a partnership with Dubai’s DP World to modernize three ports in Senegal, Somaliland, and Egypt.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said:

I want to work with like-minded partners to help provide clean and reliable infrastructure in the developing world.

This should be a win-win-win deal for the UK, the Gulf, and countries across Africa and Asia that will create jobs, improve lives, and benefit British and Gulf businesses operating in the region.

UK-Gulf collaboration could see experts from both countries working side-by-side, identifying opportunities for economic development in the developing world. By working together and sharing expertise, development superpowers, like the UK and some Gulf countries, can help drive economic growth and boost trade, improving the lives of some of the world’s poorest people.

New UK-Gulf Partnerships To Support Infrastructure In Developing WorldTruss aims to build on the strong economic and investment relationships already in place, including with Saudi Arabia. In 2018 Saudi Arabia and the UK Government agreed to £100m of joint funding to East Africa to boost jobs, economic development, and sustainable infrastructure in cities.

She touched down in Saudi Arabia yesterday morning (Wednesday 20 October), where she met Minister of Foreign Affairs His Highness Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud to discuss closer cooperation on regional security, development, human rights, and counterterrorism, and how the two nations can build economic links as part of the Kingdom’s plan to diversify its economy.

Truss will visit Qatar today (Thursday 21 October) to meet His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.

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