The UK’s business, energy, and industrial strategy secretary Grant Shapps said today that the country would deepen its collaboration with Saudi Arabia in diversifying its critical mineral supply.

The partnership would see Saudi investment in UK manufacturing and mining finance sectors, with “new possibilities” for UK mining companies to conduct business in Saudi Arabia. 

“The 2 countries will work collectively on specific actions we can take, to bring our respective strengths together. We will be formalising this relationship in the coming months,” the statement reads. 

According to the statement, the partnership will also emphasise the significance of transparency and environmental standards to reduce business risks and attract investment.

The official statement said the UK government seeks to diversify its critical material supply chains, “with supplies currently dominated by China.”

Shapps said: “The impact of Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine on energy prices has shown us all how important international supply chains are to our economy and why we can never be too reliant on any nation. That’s why it’s so key that we work with partners like Saudi Arabia to [ensure] our supply chains are diverse and robust.”

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