Constituents of the Business Forum, including, the US Department of Commerce, US Saudi Arabian Business Council, National US Arab Chamber of Commerce, and Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), will discuss the economic and financial relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia. The Forum will highlight the large infrastructure projects launched by the Saudi government entailing total investments of $283 billion over the next three years.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau and the US Saudi Business Council, total U.S. exports to Saudi Arabia for 2005 were $6.8 billion, up from $5.2 billion the previous year. The U.S. is also the leading foreign direct investor in Saudi Arabia, accounting for more than 25 percent of total inward Foreign Direct Investment. In 2005, the top three U.S. states that exported to Saudi Arabia were Texas, New York and Florida. In 2005, exports from Florida alone were valued at $463 million!
“Close to twenty thousand Americans live and work in Saudi Arabia and thousands more Americans derive their livelihood from the making of goods exported to the Saudi market,” said Mr. Kenneth Mouradian, International Trade Specialist and Director of the US Department of Commerce (http://www.commerce.gov/) Orlando U.S. Export Assistance Center. It is estimated by the US Department of Commerce that almost 10,000 jobs in Florida were created and sustained by exports to Saudi Arabia.
Mouradian will be a featured speaker at the forum to discuss international trade and investment opportunities specifically related to the Florida business circuits.
Mr. Waleed Al-Yahya, Advisor to the Governor of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA)(http://www.sagia.gov.sa/) and Chairman of FSA International, will also be at the forum to discuss the Multi Billion Dollar Economic Cities in the Western region of Saudi Arabia, which are expected to attract investments worth over $80 billion in the next 10 years. The first of these cities is the $53.3 billion King Abdullah Economic City located near Jeddah.
Since its creation by the Government of Saudi Arabia in April 2000, after the announcement of a new Foreign Investment Law, SAGIA has been the gateway to investment in Saudi Arabia. SAGIA’s mission is to create a pro- business environment, provide comprehensive services to investors and foster investment opportunities in energy, transportation and knowledge-based industries in Saudi Arabia.
The Universal Express Friendship Invitational Business Forum will be followed by an optional reception and banquet at the Heritage Center in the Ginn Reunion Resort that will provide further networking opportunities with the business panelists, as well as other dignitaries such as Ambassador Wendy Chamberlain; Delano Roosevelt, the grandson of Franklin D. Roosevelt; and LPGA professional players such as Joanne Foreman and Renee Powell.
As part of the three day event which includes the Universal Express Friendship Invitational Business Forum, Friends of Saudi Arabia and the Ladies Professional Golf Association will also host a Women’s Empowerment Forum on Tuesday, April 17, 2007 starting at 9:00 am. Ambassador Wendy Chamberlin and other influential American and Saudi Women will engage in “Discussions of Cross-Cultural Issues Facing Women.”
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