Saudi-U.S. trade grew 14% last year

June 30, 2009

The signing of new trade agreements by Saudi Arabia and the United States resulted in a 14 percent growth in bilateral trade between the two countries last year, as compared to the year before, the Arab News reported in an article published today. The total volume of Saudi-U.S. trade last year was valued at SR 200 billion [$53.35 billion], according to Mazin Battarjee, the Deputy Chairman of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI).

Furthermore, officials in both countries plan to boost economic ties to an even greater degree by facilitating the exchange of Saudi and American business delegations. During a meeting yesterday between members of a visiting American delegation and JCCI officials, U.S. Charge d’Affaires Richard Erdman announced that the U.S. Embassy in the Kingdom “is working on entry visas [for] Saudi businessmen and businesswomen, in addition to expanding the training program for Saudi students in the U.S.”

Erdman stressed the importance of removing the barriers preventing the strengthening of bilateral economic relations – particularly between Saudi and American businesswomen. During their time in the Kingdom, the visiting U.S. delegation toured the Khadijah bint Khuwailid Center, a subsidiary of the JCCI that specializes in promoting the business activities of Saudi women. Battarjee, who met with the delegation, stressed the important role played by the Center in finding employment for women. “The Khadijah center’s other activities include holding seminars, meetings, exhibitions, besides receiving international delegations concerned with the development of women,” he said, noting that there are 3,000 female-run businesses in Jeddah.

During the meeting with the U.S. delegation, Battarjee added, the discussion focused on joint investment opportunities, obstacles faced by investors in the Kingdom and the U.S., and the need for greater transparency of investment information.

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