The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) has launched a new investor communications strategy in which one-on-one meetings are conducted with specific investors matching a certain profile required by the opportunities under discussion. As part of the strategy, SAGIA Governor Amr Al-Dabbagh recently met in the United States with senior executives of a number of U.S. companies. In addition to top executives of potential corporate investors, including the DuPont Corporation, he also held talks with government leaders, notably Senator Hillary Clinton from the State of New York, and with representatives from international think tanks such as the Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS) in Washington DC.
SAGIA was established in April 2000 to act as a catalyst to promote investment in the Kingdom. In the first quarter of this year alone, it has issued licenses for 189 projects, both international and domestic, worth a total of SR24 billion (US$6.4 billion). A SAGIA survey shows that direct U.S. investment in Saudi Arabia amounted to about SR 30 billion [$8 billion] at the end of 2004. This represents the shares of U.S. partners in 197 projects licensed in accordance with the Kingdom’s foreign investment regulations. The 50-member Saudi trade mission that toured five U.S. states earlier this month introduced new investment opportunities worth $2.3 trillion in vital sectors such as oil, gas, petrochemicals, railways, water, electricity, and desalination.