US Ambassador to the Kingdom James Smith on Sunday highlighted the clear vision and strong commitment to expansion and economic diversification shown by Saudi Arabia under the leadership of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah.
In a statement issued by the US Embassy in Riyadh to mark the launch of the Saudi-US Business Opportunities Forum’s activities in the US city of Atlanta in Georgia, he said the organization is scheduled to start its three-day deliberations on Monday under the joint auspices of the leaderships of both countries and the US-Saudi Arabian Business Council.
Smith said trade and commerce were a fundamental pillar at the heart of Saudi-US ties since the start of bilateral relations, adding the forum is an opportunity to strengthen them. He said they form part of Trade and Industry Minister Abdullah Zainal Alireza’s efforts to expand the bilateral trade relationship.
For the past 18 years, the council has been seeking to promote bilateral trade relations between the two countries as the Foreign Trade Committee, with its work and mission, remains a constant strong partner in the development of these ties.
The US ambassador emphasized that the Saudi government has taken unprecedented steps in expanding and diversifying its economy to include new industries based on advanced knowledge and technology, pointing out that US companies in the framework of bilateral trade has worked to provide expertise and resources necessary to achieve ambitious (sectorial) developments in the Kingdom.
He added that the prospects of trade between US companies and Saudi Arabia are continually growing and that the Saudi-US Business Forum will further boost relations between the business communities in both countries.
James Smith said the Kingdom, which is one of the members of the Group of Twenty (G-20), is ranked 15th among the largest trading partners of the United States with the value of bilateral trade between the two countries amounting to $43 billion in 2010.
"It also comes in 12th place for US exports. In 2010, the United States exported to Saudi Arabia goods worth US$11.6 billion, showing a hike of nearly 8 percent from last year,” the US ambassador added, noting that the United States of America’s share of the Saudi market amounts to 13 percent approximately.