Minister of Commerce Osama Faqih received at his office today U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom Wyche Fowler. Referring to the distinguished economic ties between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the USA involving 84 bilateral agreements that enhance cooperation in various fields, Minister Faqih said that Saudi Arabia now stands as first partner of the USA in terms of trade exchange and that US investments top the list in terms of capital and number, amounting to 43 percent of total foreign investment in the Kingdom. There are now 236 Saudi-U.S. joint ventures with total paid-up capital of SR 44.77 billion (U.S. $ 11.9 billion) with Saudi partners owning 53 percent, U.S. partners 46 percent, and the balance owned by other foreign partners. In 1995, the volume of bilateral trade was estimated at SR 55.3 billion (U.S. $ 14.7 billion) with Saudi exports amounting to SR 31.7 billion (U.S. $ 8.5 billion) and Saudi imports reaching about SR 23.7 billion (U.S. $ 6.3 billion). During the first half of 1996, the total value of Saudi non-oil exports reached SR 948 million (U.S. $ 252.8 million). For his part, Ambassador Fowler commended the ambitious development witnessed by the Kingdom and expressed admiration at what has been achieved under the leadership of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz.