“We encourage the U.S. business community”, said Prince Bandar, “to take advantage of the presence of leading Saudi experts in the United States to learn more about export market potential and business opportunities in the Kingdom."
Khaled Al-Seif, chairman of the Committee for the Development of International Trade at the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CSCCI) and head of the delegation, commented on the warm welcome received by the mission from American officials and businessmen. About 150 American companies participated in the reception in Houston, Texas. Among the speakers at the Houston event was Princess Lolowa Al-Faisal of Riyadh’s Effat College, who outlined the growing investment opportunities in Saudi Arabia and spoke of the increasing role of women in business.
[Full text of Princess Lolowa’s speech]
During his recent visit to the States, Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz invited American businessmen to invest in Saudi Arabia, especially in its gas and mining sectors, telling a reception in his honor by the U.S.-Saudi Business Council: "Economic reforms in the Kingdom have created a new investment-friendly environment that welcomes investors.”
The Saudi government plans to privatize state-run corporations and institutions within the next ten years, a total value of SR3 trillion [$800 billion]. The United States is the Kingdom's largest trading partner. Bilateral trade rose from $160 million in 1970 to $26 billion in 2004. There are at present 360 joint projects worth more than $20 billion. Infrastructure projects offer the largest investment opportunity, with projects worth $140 billion; followed by petrochemicals ($92 billion), electricity and water ($88.9 billion), telecommunications ($60 billion), tourism ($53.3 billion), natural gas ($50 billion), agriculture ($28.3 billion) and information technology ($10.7 billion).