Saturday, 1 December 2012

British industry in line for £1bn boost from Kuwait

Britain's security industry is in store for a potential £1bn boost as a result of a government-to-government agreement between the UK and Kuwait.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it was working with the Kuwaiti government to enhance Kuwait’s homeland security.

Under the agreement, the British Government would manage the project and award contracts to British companies on Kuwait’s behalf.

It is understood the partnership would be worth around £100m to £150m every year for the next seven years to the UK.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said that a letter of “mutual intent” had been signed by Britain and Kuwait on Thursday, allowing negotiations on the government-to-government deal to go ahead.

“Securing the agreement would represent a significant opportunity for UK industry. In addition to the value of the Kuwait Security Programme, there will be considerable associated investment, and the prospect for further commercial growth,” the spokesman said.

The security programme would be run by a branch of the Foreign Office called FCO Services, and would address a range of both physical and virtual threats to Kuwait.

It is thought that the deal would include the provision of state-of-the-art surveillance systems, along the lines of those used during the Olympics.

The agreement was struck during a state visit to Britain by the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah.

It comes at a time when activists in Kuwait are campaigning for the prime minister to be elected, rather than appointed by the Emir.

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