ECONOMY

US Consul General to Saudi Arabia: We want Vision 2030 to succeed

US Consul General in Jeddah Matthias Mitman expressed his desire to see a more prosperous Saudi Arabia through the Vision 2030. (Supplied)

The recently appointed US Consul General in Jeddah Matthias J. Mitman expressed his desire to see a more prosperous Saudi Arabia through the Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Plan.

“We want the Vision 2030 to succeed,” said Mitman, who held a meeting with the local press at his home here on Wednesday.

“Both the US government and private sector recognize that the Vision 2030 offers real opportunities for US companies to invest and sell technology and services in various sectors.”

Saudi Arabia is the United States’ largest trading partner in the Middle East, he added, and plans to build stronger economic ties in the coming years. Last year, the US sold $19 billion worth of goods and services to the Kingdom.

This will also offer job opportunities to the large number of Saudi young men and women entering the labor market, he added, especially with the Saudization of the private sector.

Mitman arrived in Jeddah in August and will serve for two years, during which the US Consulate-General plans to move to its new headquarters next year. A diplomat since 1987, he has previously served in countries including Russia, Greece, and Iraq.

Despite lower oil prices posing a challenge, Saudi Arabia remains an attractive market for American businesses in the long term, Mitman further said. “As the population grows and more youth enter the labor market, there’s going to be an increase in demand. We’ve seen that American goods do very well and there are many American companies that are producing goods here for the local market.”

He added, “We promote US companies to do business here by speaking to representatives of US businesses and talking to the chambers of commerce here and identify opportunities.”

A new education advisor has been appointed to help match Saudis to institutions and universities in the United States as part of the consulate’s objectives to promote educational exchanges.

Over 100,000 Saudis currently study in the United States.

Mitman further noted “There has not been any change in adjudicating or making decision on student visas” despite the 60 cases of Saudis students who have had their visas canceled this year due to violation of US law. He further said, “We aim to make the process easier, more transparent and efficient.”

The Consulate General is also active in reaching out to the community through cultural events and workshops in arts, music, and leadership training, among others. Inviting representatives from the US to host such events for Saudi youth, women, and society play a role in “sharing American values and principles through culture”, Mitman said.

As the election approaches next week, the consular services have assisted American citizens in voting. It continues to ensure its other services are professional and efficient

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Last Update: Saturday, 5 November 2016 KSA 14:54 - GMT 11:54
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Saudi Arabia is the United States’ largest trading partner in the Middle East
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