WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce & Industry, today welcomed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Saudi Minister of Commerce and Investment H.E. Dr. Majid Al-Qasabi for the second annual U.S.-Saudi Arabia CEO Summit. The summit brought together government officials and business leaders from both countries to discuss challenges and opportunities to expanding the U.S.-Saudi economic partnership and creating new jobs.
“Strategic strength is driven by economic strength. When American businesses partner with Saudi Arabia, they help grow our domestic economy and extend influence throughout the global economy,” said Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber. “In order for our nations to effectively and cooperatively lead amid a host of regional and geopolitical challenges, both of our economies must be strong, stable, and growing. This Summit will continue to help shape our nations’ economic partnership.”
As part of the summit, the Chamber also released the U.S.-Saudi Arabia Business Outlook Survey, which reveals the sentiment of U.S. businesses regarding Saudi Arabia’s business climate. The report was produced in collaboration with Ernest & Young and the three American Chambers of Commerce in Saudi Arabia.
“American businesses have a positive outlook and plans for growth in the Saudi market. However, there are also opportunities to improve regulations and policies that will encourage more trade and investment,” said Khush Choksy senior vice president for Middle East and Turkey Affairs at the U.S. Chamber. “The Chamber is pleased to partner with EY and our affiliates in Saudi Arabia to produce this report, which we will use to engage both governments to expand our economic relationship, and encourage growth and job creation in both countries.”
According to the survey, 70% of the respondents categorized the Saudi market as ‘important’ to their company’s worldwide revenues over the past two years. Two-thirds of the respondents expressed confidence and assurance in the future of the Saudi market, believing that over the next two years the Saudi Arabian market will become “more important” to their global profits. In addition, more than two-thirds (68%) of the respondents see an upward shift in their level of trade and investment to Saudi Arabia over the coming five years.
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.