From December 5-8, 2022, the U.S.-Saudi Business Council (USSBC) led a delegation of eight U.S. companies to Riyadh and Dammam in a business development trade mission titled “Smart Technologies, Advanced Materials, and Transformative Ideas for Saudi Arabia’s Anchor Industries.” Led by the USSBC’s David Callahan, Senior Vice President, and Ishtiaq Hussein, Director of Business Development, the mission concluded successfully with nearly 150 meetings taking place between the eight companies of the U.S. delegation and Saudi companies interested in exploring potential partnerships. The U.S. companies also met with government officials and received briefings on local business law and the economic environment. The goal of the mission was to help U.S. companies that are interested in taking advantage of business opportunities in the Saudi economy meet with Saudi companies and government ministry officials for the purpose of facilitating cross-border trade and investment.
In Dammam, the delegation received a mission briefing that included remarks by Tatyana Aguirre, Commercial Consul at the U.S. Consulate in Dhahran; and a review of the legal environment in Saudi Arabia by Mohammed Abohaimed, Suhail Partners LLP. The delegation then met with the leadership of the Asharqia Chamber of Commerce and participated in a series of one-on-one meetings with Saudi companies based in the Eastern Province.
The evening of the first day was capped by a reception/dinner hosted by Abdallah Jum’ah, Saudi Co-Chairman of the Council, for the delegation and leaders of member companies of the USSBC in the Eastern Province. David Edginton, U.S. Consul General in Dhahran also attended the dinner.
On day two of the mission, the delegation visited Saudi Aramco’s headquarters in Dhahran, where they received a briefing on the IKTVA program, and on business opportunities with Aramco in instrumentation, environmental sustainability, water treatment, nonmetallic product lines, and King Salman Energy Park (SPARK). Following this session, the delegation met with USSBC Board Member Khalid AlAbdulkarim of Al Abdulkarim Holding Co. (AKH) and senior executives of several of the network of businesses which are part of the Abdulkarim Group to discuss potential business opportunities with AKH and in the Kingdom at large.
In Riyadh, the delegation again had a series of one-on-one meetings at the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry. There were also separate meetings for select members of the delegation with the Red Sea Development Company, the Public Investment Fund, Diriyah Gate Development Authority, Ma’aden, the Saline Water Conversion Corporation, and at the Gulf Petrochemical Association Forum. The delegation concluded the week’s events after a meeting with H.E. Dr. Eiman Al-Mutairi, Vice Minister of Commerce and CEO of the National Competitiveness Center (NCC), for an introduction on how the NCC can guide a foreign or domestic company through every step of the process to establish a presence in Saudi Arabia.
The delegation of U.S. companies comprised a diverse cross-section of advanced technology providers involved in areas such as proactive and predictive maintenance, robotics and automation, condition monitoring maintenance, intelligent surveillance, advanced industrial services, simulation training, green chemistry, renewable energy, waste-to-energy, and energy conversion. The Saudi companies which met with the delegates, and included many Saudi-based USSBC members, consisted of potential buyers, agents, distributors, end user groups, and joint venture partners. The U.S. companies were Aquatech, Apfelbaum Industrial, CIYIS, Comark Corporation / Global Trade Links, NAI Company, P2S Inc., Systecon, and Voovio.
This trade mission was the USSBC’s first in-Kingdom mission in the post-Covid era. Over nearly 30 years of continuous operation, the Council has led more than 50 trade missions to Saudi Arabia in furtherance of the Business Council’s mission to facilitate bilateral trade and investment and strengthen relationships between the U.S. and Saudi business communities.