UK and Somaliland co-host business forum to promote trade and investment

Picture showing business opportunities in trade and investment between the UK and Somaliland

Yesterday, the UK and Somaliland co-hosted a business forum to help promote trade and investment opportunities in Somaliland.

The UK and Somaliland gathered businesses to help make the most of Somaliland’s rich agricultural and investment opportunities to create a thriving economy and to reduce its dependency on aid

Foreign Office Minister James Duddridge said: “The British Government is keen to build partnerships across Africa, and Somaliland is no exception. We want to help harness the power, the optimism and the drive of the people of Somaliland. We want to build on that and create a business environment which attracts inward investment, and which encourages the brightest talent in Somaliland to stay, and those who have left to return.”

Building business relationships between the UK and Somaliland

The call to business was made at a conference, co-hosted in London by both countries’ governments, on trade and investment opportunities in Somaliland.

The UK delegation was led by the Foreign Office and Department for International Development’s Ministers, James Duddridge and Lynne Featherstone. The Somaliland delegation was led by President Ahmed Mohamed Mahmoud Silanyo.

Attendees at the conference agreed that whilst the aid relationship will remain important, it will be business and investment that will prove increasingly important in creating sustainable growth, jobs and prosperity in Somaliland.

Department for International Development Minister Lynne Featherstone said: “Business will be central to Somaliland’s growth and development. It is already happening – Hargeisa teems with people starting new businesses and shops. It is only through investment, trade and jobs that Somaliland can reduce its dependence on aid and remittances. People want the opportunity to work their own way out of poverty. People want the dignity that comes with a job and being able to provide for their own family. And the people of Somaliland, with all their entrepreneurial potential, are no exception.”

The UK Government remains committed to help build a more economically stable and prosperous future for Somaliland. UK aid supports areas such as health, education and strengthening public financial management and governance, and is also helping to rebuild crucial infrastructure and create jobs.

However, much of Somaliland’s potential still remains untapped. The vibrant agriculture and livestock sectors could produce goods with much higher added value. Businesses can play a vital role in growing these sectors, and others like services and manufacturing, through investment.

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