Saudi, US officials discuss ways to boost economic partnership

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Saudi and US officials discussed ways to better an existing economic partnership between the two countries, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Thursday.

The Saudi delegation was led by the Minister of Commerce, Dr. Majid bin Abdullah al-Qasabi alongside Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan, Saudi Ambassador to the US.

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They met with US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, where they discussed building a green economy, strengthening the role of women in business, developing small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and promoting innovation.

Other topics discussed included “hydrogen production, waste management, promoting innovations through protecting intellectual property, enhancing the knowledge economy based on artificial intelligence, cloud storage, data flow, developing SMEs, and the role of women and their participation in the economic development,” SPA reported.

Al-Qasabi also held a meeting at Georgetown University to discuss cooperation opportunities.

The Saudi minister also met with President of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) Reta Jo Lewis over “means to enhance Saudi-US economic partnership,” according to the SPA.

These meetings came ahead of US President Joe Biden’s visit to the Kingdom in July at the invitation of King Salman bin Abdulaziz.

The president is scheduled to meet with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Separately, Biden’s nominee to be the next US ambassador to Saudi Arabia said Thursday that there was “so much at stake” in the relationship between Washington and Riyadh.

Michael Ratney said he was committed to a strong and sustainable US-Saudi partnership, adding that energy supplies would be a big part of his talks with the Saudi government.

“Energy supplies and encouraging a Saudi energy policy that aligns with US priorities will be a major focus of my discussions with the Saudi government,” he said at his nomination hearing in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

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