U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council to Sign MOC with Washington State Department of Commerce

VIENNA – July 6, 2011 – The U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council (USSABC) will sign a memorandum of cooperation (MOC) with the Washington State Department of Commerce (WADC) on July 15th in Seattle, Washington. The MOC will serve to promote the bilateral business relationship between the State of Washington and Saudi Arabia. Rogers Weed, Director of the WADC, and Edward Burton, President and Managing Director of the USSABC, will sign the agreement.

“Washington companies are defined by their innovative products and technologies and an appreciation of the value of global trade to business success,” said Mr. Weed. “We are pleased to partner with the U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council to help our companies take advantage of the emerging opportunities in the Saudi market.”

Under the agreement, the Business Council will also work with the WADC to encourage Saudi investment in the state and promote Washington companies in the Kingdom. The USSABC will cooperate with the WADC to organize informational seminars and business development missions as well as offer one-on-one company counseling to assist Washington firms to build commercial relationships in Saudi Arabia.

“Trade relations between Washington and Saudi Arabia have significantly strengthened over the past several years, with potential for even larger increases,” said Mr. Burton. “Many of the prioritized economic sectors in the Kingdom, including agriculture, healthcare, and information technology, coincide with Washington’s leading industries.”

Washington is one of the most trade dependent states in the country. Approximately 4 percent of Washington companies export, compared to a national average of 1 percent. Furthermore, the WADC estimates that one in three jobs in the state is tied to trade, either directly or indirectly.

The agreement between the USSABC and the WADC will support the Washington State Export Initiative, a program that seeks to increase the number of Washington companies exporting by 30 percent in the next four years to reach 10,500 and help 5,000 businesses achieve $600 million in new export sales.

Washington ranks 22nd among U.S. state exporters to Saudi Arabia. In 2010, the state exported nearly $142 million worth of merchandise to the Kingdom. The largest categories of exports include: agricultural products, computer and electronic products, transportation equipment, and food manufacturers.

About the U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council

The U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council (USSABC) was established in December 1993 to improve the mutual knowledge and understanding between the private sectors of the U.S and Saudi Arabia and to promote and facilitate increased trade and investment between the two countries. The USSABC has built a membership base of approximately 400 leading companies in the U.S. and Saudi Arabia and serves as the central source of information and assistance for companies that want to pursue specific business activities in Saudi Arabia. The USSABC organizes conferences and seminars in both countries to promote dialogue between the two private sectors, as well as trade and investment missions that provide networking opportunities for U.S. and Saudi companies. For more information on the Business Council, please visit www.us-sabc.org.

About the Washington State Department of Commerce

The Washington State Department of Commerce is the lead state agency charged with enhancing and promoting sustainable community and economic vitality in Washington. Established in 2009, the WADC administers a diverse portfolio of more than 100 programs and several boards and commissions, all focused on achieving one clear and simple mission: to grow and improve jobs in Washington. The WADC’s key customers include businesses and employers, local governments and community-based organizations. It also plays the crucial role of convening numerous local, state, regional and federal partners and stakeholders, public and private. Together WADC works to support the Governor’s priorities and achieve shared goals and objectives for the citizens of Washington. For more information on WADC, please visit www.commerce.wa.gov.


David Callahan
Vice President, Business Development
U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council
Phone: 703-962-9300
E-mail: dcallahan@us-sabc.org

Penny Thomas
Communications Manager
Washington State Department of Commerce
Phone: 360-725-2805
Email: Penny.thomas@commerce.wa.gov

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