The U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council, “the Council,” was established as a non-profit organization in 1993 as a spin-off of the U.S.-Saudi Arabian Joint Economic Commission, a technical assistance initiative between the Saudi Ministry of Finance and National Economy and the U.S. Department of the Treasury, which was co-chaired by former Saudi Minister of Finance and National Economy H.E. Mohammed Abalkhail and U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Lloyd Bentsen.
For 25 years of continuous operation, the Council has contributed to hundreds of millions of dollars in cross-border trade and investment in the forms of contracts, memoranda of understanding, and letters of intent. The bottom line deliverable of the Council in Saudi Arabia is access – access to information and to senior decision makers in both the government and private sector.
The Council also plays an advocacy role by working with the American and Saudi public and private sectors on issues affecting trade and investment. In this regard, over the years the Council has organized and convened formal discussions between senior executives of Saudi and American companies and government officials from the Saudi Ministries Foreign Affairs, Commerce, and Health and the U.S. Departments of State and Commerce. The opinions and commentary from these gatherings have informed both governments through policy papers and recommendations from business.
The Council is governed by a bilateral Board of Directors, co-chaired by Abdallah S. Jum’ah, Chairman of Saudi Investment Bank, and Steven Demetriou, Chairman and CEO of Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc. Board composition consists of senior executives from leading American and Saudi companies, such as Bechtel, Citigroup, GE, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Morgan Stanley, Ma’aden, The Boeing Company, Saudi Aramco, SABIC, Zamil Group, and Xenel Group.
With offices in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and the U.S., and a membership base of approximately 250 leading American and Saudi companies, the Council effectively utilizes its strong U.S. and Saudi government support, deep-seated market knowledge and contacts within Saudi Arabia, to accelerate the speed and ease of doing business in the Kingdom.