And as history has shown, the Saudi-U.S. friendship has not only continued but has weathered many storms, including numerous regional and global conflicts and crises, developing into a relationship that today spans the fields of politics, economics, education, technology and other areas of human endeavor. And as the relationship of these two nations matured, it has reflected the ideals of independence, justice and peace that are cornerstones of the United Nations Charter.
On July 31, 2003, Saudi Arabia and the United States signed an agreement to strengthen commercial and investment relations. As a result, the U.S.-Saudi Council for Trade and Investment was established to meet at least once a year to enable representatives of both countries to review the signing of additional agreements on trade, protection of intellectual property rights, investment, vocational training and environmental issues. With almost 300 joint ventures, American companies are the largest group of foreign investors in the Kingdom.