Bilateral trade hits $30bn mark

Bilateral trade hits $30bn mark
Updated 16 June 2016

Bilateral trade hits $30bn mark

Bilateral trade hits $30bn mark

JEDDAH: Trade relations between Saudi Arabia and the United States have remained strong and increased over more than 80 years, despite political and economic upheavals and oil price fluctuations in recent times.
The growth and expansion is attributed to the bilateral relationship that is built on a solid foundation of mutual respect and benefits, local media reported on Wednesday.
Saudi Arabia is today considered the 12th largest trading partner of the United States, while the US is the second largest trading partner of the Kingdom. The US accounts for the largest share of foreign direct investment (FDI) from the Kingdom.
The main investment operations to bring the two countries together include the establishment of Sadara Chemical Company, a joint venture between the Dow Chemical Company and Saudi Aramco with a cost estimated at more than $20 billion, one of the largest petrochemical projects in the world jointly established.
The US-Saudi Arabian Business Council, which was founded in the United States in December 1993, was the result of the keenness shown by the two countries to form a joint organization. The council operates through offices in Riyadh and Washington.
The council is a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to promote economic relations between the Kingdom and the United States with an established board of directors consisting of business leaders from both countries working together to enhance bilateral trade relations through trade and investment.
The council has been promoting a broader understanding between Saudi and American companies, as well as providing them with information about specific business opportunities stemming from the belief in the importance of strengthening economic ties between the two countries.
The Saudi side is headed by Abdullah bin Saleh bin Jumah, while the US part is headed by Peter Robertson, Chevron’s former vice chairman.
The first meeting of the council was held under the banner, "The Business Opportunities Forum," in Chicago in 2010.
The event attracted more than 1,100 men and women entrepreneurs from the two countries to explore new opportunities for cooperation and expand existing trade relations.
It was followed by similar successful forums of the same size held in Atlanta in 2011 and Los Angeles in 2013. The fourth Business Opportunities Forum was held in Riyadh in March this year.
The council is engaged in gathering information necessary to address the strategic concerns of institutions that work in the Kingdom and the regulatory requirements for effective marketing of products and services for businesses, as well as remain close to the main decision-makers in the public and private sectors of the two countries.
The volume of trade between Saudi Arabia and the United States during the first quarter of 2016 stood at SR 30.498 billion, with the Kingdom recording exports to the United States worth SR 12.117 billion, representing 9 percent of the total exports against imports by the country from the US totaling SR 18.381 billion, according to the report of the General Authority for Statistics.
In 2015, the volume of trade between the two countries stood at SR 170.203 billion, the report said.
Between 1991 and 2015, the total volume of trade between Saudi Arabia and the United States stood at SR 3.222 trillion, an annual average of SR 128.9 billion, and the total current account balance recorded a surplus of SR 1.23 trillion, of which SR 2,225 billion represents total exports and SR 996.126 billion total imports.
The highest volume of trade between Saudi Arabia and the United States was about SR 287.109 billion in 2012, with the total exports of the Kingdom standing at SR 208.339 billion, 14.3 percent of the Kingdom’s total exports, while the highest volume of exports by the Kingdom to the United States was in 1991, which represented 22.9 percent of the Kingdom’s total exports that year.