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Promoting US-Gulf Economic Partnership in Trump’s First Foreign Visits | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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US President Donald Trump and Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defense Mohammed bin Salman meet at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 14, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Riyadh – The Gulf business sector is looking forward to US President Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia, hoping that it would remediate challenges facing bilateral relations and promote economic, industrial, investment and trade relations between the US and the GCC.

In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, Secretary General of the Federation of GCC Chambers (FGCCC) Abdul Rahim Hassan Naqi said that Trump’s first state visit to the Middle East, would be in Saudi Arabia, and would underline the US administration’s determination to promote its relations with the Gulf on the political, security and economic levels.

Naqi said he believed that Trump’s choice of Saudi Arabia to be his first official stop in the region had reflected his confidence in the Kingdom’s pivotal role on the regional and international levels, and “a major economic, political and security decision-maker.”

He added that the Kingdom was a strategic partner to the United States, especially on the economic level.

“This gives a strong indication to the important role assumed by Saudi Arabia on the regional and international levels, as an active member of the G20 and a country that enjoys a huge economic market,” Naqi told Asharq Al-Awsat in a phone interview.

He also highlighted the importance of Saudi Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program in promoting the Kingdom as an economic leader in the region and on the international arena.

The GCC official went on to say that Saudi Arabia’s contribution to the region’s security and stability was a crucial factor to build effective economic partnerships that could achieve mutual benefits.

“We should take advantage of this visit to focus on the Gulf economic partnerships with the aim to promote the region’s living, educational and cultural standards,” he stated.

Naqi stressed the importance of the upcoming Gulf-US economic forum, which will be hosted by Qatar later this month.