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Economy Leads Mohammed Bin Salman’s Visit to U.S. ‘Fortress of Technology’ | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defense Mohammed Bin Salman arrives at the Oval Office of the White House for a meeting with U.S. President Obama in Washington. Photo: Reuters
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A great number of technology agreements are expected to be signed between Saudi Arabia and U.S. companies in the Silicon Valley during the visit of Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to California, according to several Saudi sources.

The meetings of the prince with U.S. technological, financial and business companies also carry an important message that Saudi Arabia is open to welcome solid and large investments.

Prince Mohammed bin Salman headed to western U.S. where he is expected to meet with a great number of companies in the Silicon Valley, California, following a week of extensive meetings in Washington.

The Crown Prince is expected to remain four days in California before he heads to New York on Tuesday, the third station in his current historic trip to the U.S.

The Silicon Valley is considered a huge technological fortress as it includes significant number of companies, such as Facebook, Google, Oracle, Intel, IBM, Apple, Adobe, Cisco and others. The valley also includes NASA and a large number of academic centers specialized in technology.

Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to the Silicon Valley comes two weeks following the Kingdom’s announcement that it will invest $3.5 billion in the car-booking application Uber, which is based in San Francisco.

Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir said during a press conference held on Friday, it was stated that Deputy Crown Prince plans to benefit from the latest discoveries present at the Silicon Valley and to speak with a number of CEOs for using their discoveries in implementing Saudi Vision 2030.

Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program (NTP), which sets targets for implementing it, aim to boost non-oil revenues and employ more Saudis.

The vision has drawn the interest of the U.S. government, businessmen and giant corporations, especially following the visit of Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Saudi sources said that Prince Mohammed bin Salman seeks to establish a Saudi society of technicians, by seeking the help of number of experts from U.S. technological companies in an attempt to launch new plans in the Kingdom and benefit from the young educated Saudi generation.

Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to the U.S. had an important political and economic impact.

The prince had met with the economic team of the U.S. President Barack Obama, in the presence of the Deputy Crown Prince’s accompanying delegation.

During the meeting, participants reviewed the best ways to enhance joint and continuous cooperation between the two countries in the fields of economy and investment, in light of Saudi Vision 2030 and its ambitious economic programs, including the National Transformation Program.

A statement issued by the White House on Friday following the meeting of U.S. President Barak Obama with the Saudi prince, said the U.S. economic team expressed a clear willingness to help Saudi Arabia implement its new economic reform vision.

On Friday, Prince Mohammed bin Salman had also met with a number of CEOs representing companies specialized in the production of military equipment, such as Bowing, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin. The meetings tackled means of nationalizing the Saudi military productions and enhancing partnerships between both parties.

Saudi Minister of Finance Dr. Ibrahim bin Abdulaziz Al-Assaf, who is accompanying the prince in his U.S. visit said that the meetings of Deputy Crown Prince and U.S. administration economic team tackled in details Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 and other related elements such as the Public Investment Fund, Saudi Aramco, and strategic partnerships with other countries.

Al-Assaf said the objective of the financial agreements between Saudi and U.S. companies pave the way to a strategic partnership between both countries.

Separately, Prince Mohammed bin Salman is expected to meet next week with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon during his stop in New York. UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said that the office of the Deputy Crown Prince had asked to meet with the Secretary-General.