U.S. Chamber, Council of Saudi Chambers Announce Partnerships in Support of Saudi Arabia Health Goals

Monday, December 5, 2016 - 3:00am

RIYADH— The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry's Committee on Trade and Investment today announced a new partnership in support of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s health targets. The two organizations have hosted a series of programs over the last twelve months focused on opportunities for greater private sector engagement in healthcare services. The announcement was made during a wellness screening event, which promoted the importance of lifestyle choices in lowering risk factors and the role employers can play in supporting healthy habits. Dr Basma Albuhairan, managing director for Healthcare & Life Sciences Sectors at the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) participated in the screening.

"Since the rollout of Vision 2030 and the ambitious National Transformation Program, the U.S. Chamber has been working with our Saudi partners in government and business to bridge American companies with the opportunities in the Kingdom," said Steve Lutes, executive director of Middle East Affairs at the U.S. Chamber. "We are focused on knowledge-based sectors, like healthcare, given U.S. businesses are global leaders in these fields and can bring their innovation and experiences to partner with Saudis on an array of projects and initiatives."

“The strength and prosperity of our communities is directly tied to the health of its citizens. Both the public and private sectors play important roles in promoting healthy lifestyle choices, which will ultimately encourage strong economic growth,” stated Catherine Mellor, executive director of the Global Health Initiative at the U.S. Chamber. “The U.S. Chamber is committed to creating partnerships between governments, businesses, and civil society in support of positive health goals such as those established by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

The U.S. Chamber also facilitated a high-level dialogue for U.S. business executives with H.E. Dr. Tawfig Alrabiah, Saudi Arabia's Minister of Health, and other key officials from the Ministry of Health, Saudi Food & Drug Authority and SAGIA. 

The partnerships announced today will work to advance health goals endorsed by the Saudi Council of Ministers as part of a roadmap for economic reform released in April 2016. The roadmap includes two important health targets. The first – Living Healthy, Being Healthy – acknowledges the importance of lifestyle choices in disease prevention with a focus on activity and the role of organized sports. The second – Corporatization for Efficient and High Quality Health Care – acknowledges the need for greater competition and transparency among health service providers.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations. Its International Affairs division includes more than 70 regional and policy experts and 25 country- and region-specific business councils and initiatives. The U.S. Chamber also works closely with 117 American Chambers of Commerce abroad.