The Saudi UK Joint Offset Committee met in London on 25 February 2016 to review recent activity under the Economic Offset Programme (EOP) and to consider how the use of EOP could be expanded to the benefit of all parties in future.
This was the first meeting under the Joint Chairmanship of His Excellency, Adel Fakeih, Minister of Economy and Planning in KSA and Mr Tom McKane, Chief of the Saudi Armed Forces Projects, UKMOD. During the meeting the committee acknowledged the wide ranging and valuable work that all sides had put into establishing successful joint venture projects under the EOP but recognized that the economic environment in which the Programme was operating was very different to the one when it was created. The Committee discussed some of the current challenges.
Mr Adel Fakeih confirmed that KSA retained a strong appetite for new joint venture projects and was in a healthy position to encourage and support these as they were identified. He also talked of the opportunities that may present themselves given the KSA National Transformation Agenda and Plan (NTP) on which announcements were expected soon. Tom McKane responding said that the UK remained committed to identifying and supporting international technology partners considering joint ventures in KSA. The objective remained to help deliver partnerships that would be viable, self-sustaining and beneficial to the economic development of Kingdom, whilst fostering development and delivering prosperity for the technology holder.
Both parties concluded by agreeing that increased and closer engagement between the respective Offset delivery organisations and the creation of an EOC Task Force specifically charged with examining expansion of the EOP and consideration of the NTP would help to ensure that use of the Programme was maximized and that opportunities realized.