The Emirates Society, in partnership with the UAE-UK Business Council, hosted a webinar on 14 September 2021 which brought together H.E. Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and Lord Grimstone, the UK Minister for Investment, for a lively discussion on the future business and investment relationship between the Emirates and the UK.
The ministers, who have been closely involved in shaping UAE-UK business ties, also provided insights into the policy and economic approach needed to make investment and economic cooperation easier and more effective in a post-COVID world, as well as ways to create a broader ecosystem of knowledge-sharing, collaboration and alignment between large multinational businesses, fast-growing start-ups, and SMEs.
H.E. Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade
H.E Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi was appointed the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade in 2020. He oversees the development of non-oil foreign trade sectors and the expansion of global partnerships, in addition to enhancing the investment climate in the country.
Prior to assuming his ministerial position, H.E Al Zeyoudi served as the permanent representative of the UAE to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), and Director of the Department of Energy Affairs and Climate Change at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
Lord Grimstone, UK Minister for Investment at Department for International Trade and Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lord Grimstone was appointed Minister for Investment jointly at the Department for International Trade and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy in March 2020. In his role as Minister at the DIT he oversees the developing new investment strategies, promotion of investment and strengthening business-investor relations. Whilst in his role at BEIS sees Lord Grimstone work across investment in the advanced manufacturing, automotive, infrastructure, materials (including steel), professional and business services.
In addition to his work within the Government, Lord Grimstone has served in multiple executive roles across the public and private sector including chairman of Barclays Bank plc and Standard Life Aberdeen and Board Adviser for the Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, where he developed strong ties within the Emirates. Most recently he led on delivering the UAE-UK Sovereign Investment Partnership agreement with Mubadala.
The webinar was moderated by Rt Hon Alistair Burt, chairman of the Emirates Society and former UK Minister for the Middle East and North Africa. Lord Udny-Lister, co-chair of the UAE-UK Business Council and UK envoy to the Gulf, provided opening remarks. H.E. Rawdha al-Otaiba, deputy ambassador of the UAE to the UK, closed out the session.