The Saudi British Joint Business Council supports the UK and Saudi tech ecosystems through initiatives and events
The Saudi British Joint Business Council (SBJBC) is leading a 30-strong delegation of UK fintech companies and investors to Riyadh from 29-31 January. The three-day programme, the second that SBJBC has led in Saudi Arabia, aims to grow the country’s fintech sector and open banking capabilities.
The delegation is co-sponsored by Saudi Awwal Bank and Geida. It is supported by the UK’s Department for Business and Trade, the Saudi Ministry of Communications and IT, and Fintech Saudi.
The SBJBC is a private sector-led business association with more than 200 Saudi and British members. It recently launched the Saudi UK Tech Hub as a platform to connect, promote and support the UK and Saudi tech ecosystems through events and initiatives.
Chris Innes-Hopkins, UK executive director of SBJBC said: “The strength of this delegation is recognition of the excitement that reforms in Saudi Arabia’s financial services sector have generated.
“We look forward to a productive visit and new partnerships between our two fintech ecosystems.”
UK and Saudi fintech hubs
Saudi Arabia received $1.4bn in venture capital in 2023, a 33% growth and highest in the MENA region.
The UK remains the second largest global fintech hub after the US, with $5.1bn investment across 409 deals in 2023. Around 2,500 fintechs operate in the UK with the number of specialisms growing each year, including in digital payment technologies and Islamic fintech.
Peter Ashby, director of trade and investment at the British Embassy in Riyadh and deputy UK Trade Commissioner for the Middle East, said: “It is evident that the fintech business in Saudi Arabia is growing rapidly and is fast becoming one of the most exciting sectors.
“Saudi Arabia aims to become the region’s fintech hub, with the target of 525 fintech companies by 2030, contributing SAR13.3bn (£2.8bn) in direct GDP. We look forward to supporting Vision 2030 fintech sector growth, by bringing strong delegations such as this, which includes unicorns, innovative fintechs and investors”.