Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

U.S. Official: Saudi Arabia Biggest Commercial Partner in Middle East | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter (L) hosts an enhanced honor cordon to welcome Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defense Mohammed bin Salman to the Pentagon in Washington, U.S., June 16, 2016. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

Riyadh- Arun Kumar, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce, told Asharq al-Awsat that “Saudi Arabia is the biggest commercial partner of the U.S. in the Middle East,” describing the relations between the two countries as solid.

“U.S.-Saudi relations are based on several important and diverse factors starting from the educational exchange, defense and intelligence cooperation, political talks and reaching the commercial exchange and business relations,” added Kumar.

Asharq al-Awsat arranged for this interview to know more about the possible impact of passing the JASTA law on Saudi investments in the U.S. and concerns of Saudi investors.

Kumar continued, “We will keep up the work with the Saudi government regarding the most important regional and international topics. Also, we will continue to cooperate with the private sector to achieve mutual welfare and boom.”

Kumar provided Asharq al-Awsat with detailed information on the commercial and economic relations between the two countries, saying that “Saudi Arabia remained the biggest commercial partner of the U.S. in the Middle East in 2015… There are more than 10,400 U.S. workers in Saudi owned companies.”

“The U.S. Minister of Commerce was honored to meet Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz during his last visit to Washington in June to discuss the possible ways in which the U.S. can assist Saudi Arabia to achieve the ambitious reforms mentioned in the Saudi Vision 2030,” added Kumar.

He added that since this visit, officials from the ministry of commerce held several discussions with Saudi officials on possible cooperation means to implement the vision.