Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Reluctance to work in Saudi costs UK firms

BRITISH ENGINEERING firms are losing out on billions of pounds-worth of work in Saudi Arabia because they are unwilling to set up bases in the country, Saudi government officials said this week.

More than £50bn will be spent on infrastructure in the Middle Eastern country in the next 10 years, said Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority transportation sector director general Dr Abdulaziz Y Al-Babutain.

Al-Babutain was speaking to delegates at a Middle East Economic Digest conference in London.

The investment in infrastructure provides a massive opportunity for British firms, he said.

But companies are missing out on the big jobs because of a lack of local knowledge and a reluctance to set up local offices.

'There is lots of opportunity for British firms. But they need good access to local markets.

'Some firms are approaching us that do not have a base in Saudi Arabia. They need to have a base there, ' he said.

Huge forthcoming projects include building the Middle East's first high-speed rail link, and several airport expansions.

Saudi investment authorities are open to public and private sector joint initiatives for the engineering work, Al-Babutain said.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.