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Saudi Arabia Forges New Agreements with Tech Giants | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has met with tech leaders in Silicon Valley. (AP)

Washington – Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is expected to arrive in New York on Wednesday, following a successful visit to Silicon Valley in San Francisco, where he had fruitful meetings with the heads of leading U.S. tech firms.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will receive Prince Salman on Wednesday morning, upon a request submitted by the Saudi delegation at the U.N.

U.N. Secretary General spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the meeting will be held at 11.15 a.m. on Wednesday, adding that discussions will focus on regional issues and the situation in the Middle East.

Prince Salman is also expected to meet with chiefs of leading financial companies in Wall Street in New York.

The Saudi Crown Prince has held many important meetings during his stay in San Francisco. On Tuesday, he met with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, with whom the Prince signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at training Saudi nationals and supporting the country’s goal of digital inclusion within the framework of “Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030”.

Speaking on the occasion, Nadella expressed Microsoft’s keenness on entering into partnership with Saudi Arabia in its great initiative to transform into a digital Kingdom. “Microsoft will come out with technology to translate the Vision 2030 into a reality, with a focus on human capital and innovation, and we aspire to achieve it as early as possible,” he said.

Prince Salman has been pushing technology and diversifying Saudi Arabia’s economy away from its overwhelming focus on oil and gas, as part of the new Saudi Vision 2030 economic plan.

Also on Tuesday, Prince Salman met with California-based Cisco Systems’ Chairman John T.

Chambers and his executive team. A memorandum of understanding was signed with the company to help develop the digital infrastructure in the Kingdom.

Cisco – the largest networking company in the world – has its market capital at $146 billion. Its profits after taxes reached $2.35 billion for the first quarter of 2016.

The company was founded in December 1984 by Leonard Bosack, who was in charge of the Stanford University computer science department’s computers.

The Deputy Crown Prince met with Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, with whom he discussed strategic partnerships.

The meeting comes two weeks after the Kingdom announced a $3.5 billion investment in taxi hire app Uber, which is based in San Francisco. The new investment falls within the Kingdom’s plans to develop technology innovation within the framework of King Salman’s Vision 2030.

In comments, Kalanick said that cooperation with Saudi Arabia was based on a mutual desire, adding that the company started its operations in the Kingdom two years ago. He also noted that Uber was keen on preserving cultural values and helping businesses develop through the transportation sector.

Kalanick added that 80 percent of Uber’s clients in Saudi Arabia were women, who can now easily travel in the city. He noted that the company was currently operating in 500 cities and more than 70 countries, and was looking towards developing the transportation sector, creating thousands of job opportunities and contributing to the decrease of pollution and traffic jams.