It is time to get down to business in commercial relations between Saudi Arabia and the United States after the diplomatic maneuvers between the two countries earlier this month with the visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman to the White House.
The top business leaders from the US and Saudi Arabia will come together in the Gotham Hall in midtown New York for a day of formal presentations, networking and making deals to give the new relationship between both countries a concrete form.
The Saudi-US CEO Forum is the second installment in a number of yearly events that began last May in Riyadh during President Donald Trump’s first overseas visit since he got into the office. It was regarded as a groundbreaking event, leading to deals worth hundreds of billions of dollars.
As the Riyadh forum was about launching new relationships and strengthening current ones, the New York one will be about taking this relationship to a new level-signing multimillion business deals.
The theme this time around will be “An era of transformation: From vision to implementation.” The agenda for the 1-day summit aims to break down barriers to enable closer economic ties, explore actionable partnerships and investment opportunities, and also to enhance bilateral trade.
Attendees of the forum will be welcomed by two of the countries’ top business leaders. Deputy Chairman and chief executive of Olayan Financing Company and role model for Saudi Arabia’s inspirational women, Lubna Olayan will join the Chairman and chief executive of the Dow Chemical Company Andrew Liveris, and a committed partner of Saudi Arabia.
The Kingdom’s minister of Finance, Mohammed Al-Jadaan will follow with a keynote address.
Investment issues associated with “Generation 2030” will be addressed by subsequent panels during the day.
Separate sessions will be held on the growing economic power of the Kingdom’s women, the commercial opportunities of Saudi Arabia’s newly emerging sectors such as culture and entertainment, and a special focus on the “giga-projects”, which are intended to take growth to the next level.
However, as ever at these kinds of events, the real business will be done in the private bilateral discussions between the captains of industry and finance from both countries. Some big deals are likely to be signed or firm commitments made.
Some of the sectors that are worth watching are the oil and gas sectors, and also the infrastructure, technology, Entertainment and leisure sectors.