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Britain Offers to Help to Wean Saudi Economy Off Oil Dependency


U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May plans to help Saudi Arabia lower its dependency on oil exports and increase the participation of women in the workforce as the Gulf kingdom seeks to modernize its economy.

Britain will help reform the Saudi Ministry of Defense, and foreign and trade ministers from both nations will hold six-monthly meetings under an agreement to be sealed in Riyadh on Wednesday when the premier is due to meet King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

U.K. tax and privatization experts will also advise Saudi officials on how to diversify the country’s economy away from oil, according to a statement from May’s office.

A week after triggering two years of talks to pull Britain out of the European Union, May is on a diplomatic drive to strengthen ties with Saudi Arabia, a major commercial partner that buys 40 percent of U.K. arms exports, as well as an ally in the fight against terrorism.

Saudi Arabia is seeking a sixfold increase in non-oil government revenue by 2030, and it also aims to increase the participation of women in its workforce to 30 percent from 22 percent.

On Monday, May refrained from criticizing Saudi Arabia’s record on human rights and the rights of women as she began a three-day trip to the Middle East, choosing instead to focus on “historical’’ ties.

The premier also said her presence in Saudi Arabia would show “what women can achieve.’’ She disembarked from her plane in Riyadh on Tuesday to greet Saudi officials without wearing a headscarf, in contravention to the U.K. government’s own advice on women’s attire in the country.


12 Comments on "Britain Offers to Help to Wean Saudi Economy Off Oil Dependency"

  1. joe on Wed, 5th Apr 2017 10:24 am 

    The real question is do the arabic speaking masses of saudi know or care she is there? The truth of brexit is that England will keep the EUs greedy paws off crap like this. As the North Sea oil dries up, expect more of this, and worse. The lights MUST stay on.

    Planet Oil

  2. Cloggie on Wed, 5th Apr 2017 10:35 am 

    Britain needs new allies, now that they snubbed the EU. Britain finally arrives in Saudi-Arabia, 85 years too late:

    The Elephant in the Room.

    The real question is do the arabic speaking masses of saudi know or care she is there?


    The truth of brexit is that England will keep the EUs greedy paws off crap like this.

    What “crap” are you talking about? Camel dung? Not interested, thank you very much. If you were talking about oil, we already have Russia.

    Thank God the world has at least one people that is not greedy, as per joe.

  3. joe on Wed, 5th Apr 2017 10:46 am 

    Cloggie, they guy whos country is so small hes just gotta believe in somthing greater. Sorry dude, go have a spliff, whitey aint risin up.

  4. Cloggie on Wed, 5th Apr 2017 11:32 am 

    Cloggie, they guy whos country is so small hes just gotta believe in somthing greater. Sorry dude, go have a spliff, whitey aint risin up.

    You are right about Britain but wrong about Russia.

    Europe and America, still undecided.

  5. Bob on Wed, 5th Apr 2017 3:46 pm 

    The UK is going to teach SA how to get off oil addiction? Boy, is that a laugh. The UK is as addicted to oil as SA is! When its North Sea fields are dry it will turn into the marshland it was when the Romans found it.

  6. dissident on Wed, 5th Apr 2017 3:46 pm 

    Saudi Arabia is a single commodity banana republic. Weaning it off its banana exports will take decades if ever. But this piece is actually a type of propaganda that tries to paint the prime terrorist sponsor, Wahabbi “theocracy” as a normal country. Perhaps the self-declared lovers of human rights should put pressure on their barbarian minions to behave and stop killing foreign workers and gays without punishment for the perpetrators.

  7. brough on Thu, 6th Apr 2017 3:15 am 

    Nice one Theresa !
    We’ll trade military hard-ware and agricultural goods for ???
    I know !
    We need plenty of sand to get UK fracking going.

  8. Cloggie on Thu, 6th Apr 2017 3:21 am 

    You are too negative brough, Britain has so much to offer to Arab oil-producing countries like KSA: Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and the list goes on and on.

  9. brough on Thu, 6th Apr 2017 5:49 am 

    I don’t know if urban British life style would suit Arabs, but yes would be welcomed if they had suitable qualifications (medical degree would be nice) or lots of cash or preferably both.
    But British society is becoming horribly polarizied between metropolitan elites and rural egalitarians. There are obvious racial and religious divisions between the 2 groups. At the moment both groups believe the other group serves them. Its only a matter of time before the UK is utterly torn apart starting with Scotxit.

  10. Davy on Thu, 6th Apr 2017 7:01 am 

    It is called decline and when the pie shrinks people turn on each other. This is happening on the geopolitical stage as well as within nations. The world is slowly being torn apart in an unprecedented shift we have not seen since the fall of the USSR and advent of a modernizing China. This time it will not be the flourishing of global capitalism under a PAX Americana hegemony. This will be a dysfunctional decline with abandonment and irrational policy of the end of an empire and realization of a failing planet. It will be a market based capitalistic system that has run its course dumping affluence leaving liberal democracies nothing left to do but lie.

    Things like Trump will occur. Markets that are in no way representative of reality become the norm. A corrupted and fake news main stream media captivates. A world wide web becomes a means of deep state control and a drug of mindless wondering. All the while market based capitalism captivates the audience with car and food commercials of pretty and happy people consuming. Debt and unfunded liabilities are alive and well. Depletion never sleep. Entropic decay runs wild like a cancer. Techno optimism and that special exceptionalism humans have of themselves continues on. Everyone on this planet that is not suffering and in dire straits wants this manifest destiny of progress to continue subconsciously and it is called the instinct of survival. Fake greens picture a highly technical zero carbon world sowing sustainable development on brown fields. In the meantime the extinction continues. Climate becomes unfamiliar for both man and beast. Our population continues to explode with a corresponding growing middle class of consumers laying waste to the commons.

    This is a current and it is unstoppable. On one level you have a delusional people believing and on another level a systematic decay of a civilization and a corresponding destruction of a planetary system. Even science has been coopted by the lie of techno optimism. The reason is pessimism will not sell so science has to lie even within the scientific method. Bad news is turned into hopium that sells. Green liberals talk about battery driven planes and North Sea windmill islands while evidence points to catastrophic decline. Social media lies, fantasy TV reality shows, Ponzi economics, and house of cards civilization, is facing a reality of a teetering systematic bifurcation.

    It is those caught without chairs in the game of decline that are now angry and bewildered. Billions have no voice and could at any time have no food. People are deceived by food production. They think food production is increasing but it is not. Stagnating growth is systematically a precursor of collapse for a growing population and growing global economy based on growth. Food distribution could fall dramatically with an economic depression. Food production would follow because food is a business. Food problems are far away from the status quo of optimism.

    We are in a surreal time of fake reality. It is a time of turbulence with appearances of normality punctuated with bad dreams of underlying chaos. Eventually this bumpy plateau of froth will settle and the cold hard facts of limits to a finite planet will be clearly seen. Time and scale are part of this. Many of us here may not have to experience the worst of this multi-level unraveling. Those here who like to point to failed predictions of decline also fail to acknowledge decline. It is all too apparent these cornucopian denialist are here attracted to doom in a fascination of cognitive dissonance. They come to a place of doom as a gay homophobe goes to a gay bar. They are fascinated with the thrill and horrified by the reality of it all. Then there is the truth that shines brightly to those who humbly face its wrath and comfort. When all feels lost there is the truth to offer sanity. The definition of insanity:
    Insanity. n. mental illness of such a severe nature that a person cannot distinguish fantasy from reality, cannot conduct her/his affairs due to psychosis, or is subject to uncontrollable impulsive behavior.
    I press anyone here to demonstrate how our civilization is not suffering insanity. Somehow even in this insanity we continue to live. Maybe the truth is stronger than we think.

  11. brough on Thu, 6th Apr 2017 8:58 am 

    As far as the UK is concerned the only people who are ‘angry and bewildered’ at the moment are those disappointed by the brexit vote. 9 months later there is still a belief that the result is a right-wing conspiracy and not a deeper systemic problem.
    The UK is a model of thermodynamic decay which be replicated everywhere unless a new macro-economic plan can be devised.

  12. efarmer on Thu, 6th Apr 2017 5:40 pm 

    First they will have them eat British food for a full week, and then they will tell them some dry British humor. When they will ask them how they feel, and when they find out they are tied of the bland food, constant rain, and have bcome so despondent they don’t care if they ever pump another barrel of oil, their host will pipe up with: “Splendid, how about a spot of tea and some biscuits, then?”

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