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|04 April, 2018

Saudi Arabia eyes high-value investments from the U.S.

New investment licences will allow 13 US companies to operate in the Saudi market

During his visit, His Royal Highness Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince and Minister of Defense of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, unveiled the Vision 2030 Hyperloop Pod with Virgin Hyperloop One. Virgin Hyperloop One/handout via Thomson Reuters Zawya

During his visit, His Royal Highness Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince and Minister of Defense of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, unveiled the Vision 2030 Hyperloop Pod with Virgin Hyperloop One. Virgin Hyperloop One/handout via Thomson Reuters Zawya

Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) has held several meetings with multinational companies in conjunction with the state visit by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the United States of America.

The authority showcased investment opportunities in the kingdom during meetings with aerospace and defence company Textron, additives producer Eastman Chemicals, engineering services firm McDermott and the Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU), according to an emailed statement sent by SAGIA to Zawya.

On the sidelines of the meetings, SAGIA signed several agreements and granted investment licences to 13 U.S. companies in the fields of services, industry, information technology, construction, automotive, environment, food services, oil & gas, and renewable energy, the authority said.

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One of the major American companies that has been licensed by SAGIA to start operations in Saudi Arabia, is Global Business Ventures - a Saudi-American company established to bring new housing projects to the kingdom, according to the statement. The company includes a group of American and Saudi entrepreneurs in the fields of real estate development, finance, architecture and design.

The total level of U.S. investments in Saudi Arabia hit more than 207 billion Saudi riyals ($55 billion) year-on-year to February 2018, through the activity of 373 American companies in the fields of industrial, services, real estate sectors, according to an earlier report by SAGIA.

Last year, 16 American companies entered the Saudi market for the first time, with total investments worth 382.2 million Saudi riyals ($101.9 million), according to SAGIA, with 13 licences granted to the services sector and two licences in the industrial sector.

The Saudi crown prince, who is also the kingdom’s defense minister and the vice president of the Council of Ministers, is on a three-week tour of the U.S., with stops in New York, Boston, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Houston, with a view to boosting trade between the two nations.

The crown prince said during the visit that a Saudi pledge for $200 billion in investments in the U.S. would rise to $400 billion when fully implemented.

Click here for Zawya’s Special Coverage on the crown prince’s tour of the United States.

(Reporting by Nada Al Rifai; Editing by Michael Fahy)

(nada.rifai@thomsonreuters.com).

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