Ambassador Smith: A New “Dynamism” Evident in US-Saudi Business Relationship

Commentary

US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia James Smith highlighted the “upswing” in the US-Saudi Business relationship in recent years and especially in 2010 in his speech to the National Council on US-Arab Relations’ Policymakers conference today in Washington.

The American business community in Saudi Arabia is showing a “new dynamism,” the Ambassador remarked, “and we are seeing the results of those efforts already.”

Pointing to the April 2010 US-Saudi Business Opportunities Forum, which was held in Chicago and hosted by the Saudi Committee for International Trade and the US-Saudi Arabian Business Council, the ambassador noted that enhanced economic cooperation between the two countries will be the cornerstone of a stable relationship in the future.

Ambassador Smith also noted that the $60 billion US-Saudi arms deal in front of congress, which is expected to be approved, means that “workers in the US will be busy” producing the arms for Saudi Arabia. Some estimates have the arms deal creating or saving 75,000 jobs in the United States over the next decade.

On the issue of Jobs in Saudi Arabia, Smith noted that Saudi Arabia needs to create 3 million jobs over the next decade to sustain its growth and keep unemployment down. Also needed are greater efforts to support a business climate that encourages foreign investment, the ambassador said.