Business Council to Host Luncheon for Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker in Riyadh

VIENNA, VA – On March 11, 2014, the U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council (USSABC) will host a luncheon in Riyadh during the business development mission being led by Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.  During the luncheon, speakers will highlight the advantages of the mission and touch upon the many opportunities presented by the growing Saudi market. “A measure of the future health and continued growth of our bilateral trade is the growing number of new U.S. exporters to Saudi Arabia. Last year, over 150 companies entered the Saudi market for the first time,” said Eng. Mohamed Al-Mady, Saudi Arabian Co-Chairman, USSABC, and Vice Chairman and CEO, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC).

The program will host high-level executives and government officials from the U.S. and Saudi Arabia and provide insight into the trends in the Saudi market.  “The Business Council is pleased to host a program for the first official Secretary of Commerce visit to Saudi Arabia in eight years.  During that time, total trade value between the two countries has almost doubled and U.S. exports to the Kingdom have nearly tripled. We hope her visit demonstrates the U.S.’s commitment to further grow bilateral business relations between our two countries,” said Edward Burton, Chief Executive Officer and President, U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council.

“It has been 15 years since a United States Commerce Secretary has taken a trade mission to the Gulf. The level of interest has been overwhelming for export-ready companies to participate in a Middle East trade mission focused on infrastructure,” noted Secretary Pritzker. Throughout the business development mission, events will highlight export opportunities for U.S. businesses in leading industry sectors with an emphasis on project management and engineering, renewable energy, smart grid and energy efficiency, and environmental technologies. The mission will include high-level meetings, networking opportunities, and country and industry briefings to identify opportunities for U.S. companies.

The luncheon joins several other significant events hosted by the USSABC in the coming months. The Business Council will be leading trade missions for the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and U.S companies attending the Saudi Health Exhibition in May, and the USSABC will host a major one-day conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on the Saudi health and medical sector in the fall. Also, the USSABC will be marking its twentieth anniversary after its inaugural meeting in April 1994. “Since that meeting, the relationship has grown by all measures. More companies are conducting business in their partner countries, total trade value increased nearly five-fold, and ongoing dialogues between both countries’ governments and private sectors have promoted commerce, lowered barriers to entry, and helped the Kingdom join the World Trade Organization,” remarked Peter Robertson, U.S. Co-Chairman of the USSABC.

Saudi Arabia is the 9th largest trading partner of the U.S. and bilateral trade exceeded $70 billion in 2013.  The Saudi economy has realized an average annual growth rate of 7 percent since 2000 and the Saudi Government is eager to capitalize on fiscal liquidity generated from extensive energy resources.  With more than $960 billion in projects planned or underway, Saudi Arabia is the largest opportunity in the region for businesses involved in construction and infrastructure.     


About the USSABC

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

David Callahan
Vice President, Business Advisory Services
U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council
Phone:             (703) 962-9300

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