The U.S.-Saudi Business Council (USSBC) successfully concluded its first virtual business development mission to Saudi Arabia, with participation from ten U.S. companies engaged in power, security, artificial intelligence, water treatment, and engineering & construction management. The Council has a long history of bringing trade and business development missions to the Kingdom, having brought over 50 missions over the past 25 years. This year’s challenging environment due to the global pandemic led the Business Council to create a new virtual method of connecting Saudi and U.S. companies.
The business development mission commenced with interactive webinars, providing an overview of the Saudi market, the business culture and best practices for doing business in the Kingdom, and legal considerations in establishing agent, distribution, and joint venture relationships. The mission also incorporated industry-specific breakout sessions and featured experts from AlDhabaan & Partners and the U.S. Commercial Service in Riyadh, who spoke on market opportunities and challenges in these sectors.
Helping lead the mission was H. Delano Roosevelt, CEO of the U.S.-Saudi Business Council.
“The Trade Mission and other new virtual events we utilized to meet the challenges of this past year’s complicated business climate allowed the Council and its members to continue our progress in localizing technology and expertise in the Kingdom, advancing the Kingdom’s progress toward Vision 2030’s diversification and development goals, and setting the groundwork for closer business-to-business ties between our two countries,” emphasized Mr. Roosevelt.
The virtual mission continued with one-on-one virtual meetings with pre-screened and pre-qualified partners selected based on a target profile developed with mission participants. More than 20 Saudi companies participated, with each meeting including an average of five pre-qualified U.S. partners to discuss avenues for collaboration. The initial meetings resulted in subsequent discussions and laid the foundation for ongoing dialogue, as well as the formation of several joint ventures in the Kingdom.
Fahad Bajsair, Business Development & Growth Director at IHCC Group, commented: “Being a leading Saudi group of companies with diversified business interests, IHCC Group was pleased to be part of the successful virtual business development trade mission organized by the USSBC. The success of the event was also translated into very productive virtual meetings with various U.S. companies in different disciplines which have been set as solid bases for long-term business collaboration in the Saudi market. We will continue our business collaboration with the U.S. companies we met and look forward to other USSBC business events in the near future”.
The program succeeded in opening the door for mission participants to bring new technologies to Saudi Arabia, as the country aims to become a global manufacturing and commercial hub with a focus on sustainable, smart technologies.
“The Virtual Business Development Mission has given our company a unique opportunity to meet with C-level executives of our potential partners in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It greatly enhanced our endeavors to break into the Saudi market and opened doors to further meetings moving toward mutual success for our company and our potential partner in the Kingdom,” noted David Howard, Associate Principal of California-based P2S, Inc. and one of the mission’s participants.
“The Virtual Trade Mission was incredibly informative and provided great insight into developments in the Kingdom that will impact our crash rated vehicle barrier business there,” added Jack Roth, Outside Sales Manager at B&B Roadway & Security Solutions.
The mission is the latest in a series of innovative virtual networking and information programs, as well as strategic business services, that the Council launched in the new and complex business climate that emerged in the wake of the pandemic in 2020.