Minister of Commerce and Industry addresses Saudi-U.S. Business Forum

September 19, 2013

In a speech delivered in Los Angeles yesterday, Minister of Commerce and Industry Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah said that the Kingdom offers an excellent business and investment environment for American companies. Speaking at the 3rd Saudi-U.S. Business Opportunities Forum, Dr. Al-Rabiah noted that more than 150 U.S. companies entered the Saudi market for the first time over the past year. The total volume of trade between the two countries, he added, reached more than $73 billion last year. Furthermore, a large number of Saudi students are studying at American universities, as part of the strategy of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz to build a knowledge society and a more developed economy.

Governor of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) Abdullatif Al-Othman also delivered a speech in which he outlined the impressive economic growth witnessed by the Kingdom. He pointed out that the size of the Saudi economy has quadrupled during the last ten years to rank the first among the countries of the region and nineteenth in the world.

The forum also featured an address by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, who highlighted the strong trade and investment relationship between the U.S. and the Kingdom. She noted that bilateral trade between the two countries is now triple what it was just a decade ago. She added that over the past four years, the Commerce Department has helped more than 450 U.S. companies export to the Kingdom for the first time.

During his own remarks, U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom James Smith praised the tremendous advancements made by Saudi Arabia since it was founded by the late King Abdulaziz. “The true legacy of Saudi Arabia is hard work,” he stated. Ambassador Smith thanked the Saudi officials who contributed to the event, including Dr. Al-Rabiah and Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. Adel A. Al-Jubeir. “It is entirely appropriate that we have this event in Los Angeles,” he said, because the Standard Oil Building, which was completed four years before U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt met with King Abdulaziz, is just “two-and-a-half blocks from where you sit tonight.”