/Provided as a service from the Saudi-US Trade Group, Washington, DC/
Elizabeth Pfiester | 1/9/11
“Trade and investment have been fundamental elements of the historic Saudi-U.S. relationship since the earliest days of American interest in the Arabian Peninsula…In 2005 the Committee for International Trade (CIT) brought a mission of business people from the Kingdom to the United States to build connections with their American counterparts. CIT’s forecast, at the time, was for $623 billion of new international trade and investment potential in the Kingdom through 2020, and the Saudi team was keen to share those opportunities with the United States.”
Rob L. Wagner | 1/13/11
Saudi Arabia is promoting aggressive tourism programs “to wean itself from oil revenue. The bid to attract tourists goes hand in hand with King Abdullah’s efforts to build six economic cities to diversify its economy and to attract Western investors. The same strategy applies to the tourism sector.” ‘45K JOBS’: “Fahd Al-Othaim, the executive head of the Al-Othaim Investment and Development Company, has said that the tourism industry in the Kingdom will provide over 45,000 new jobs by 2014, bringing the total number of employment positions in the sector to 590,000,” Saudi Gazette reports.
Saudi Arabia’s War Against Al-Qaida: JERUSALEM POST
Yaakov Lappin | 1/14/11
The Saudis have taken up the struggle against global terror, and are also being forced to confront a growing domestic threat to unseat their rulers. “The war between Arab governments and militant Salafi Islamists led by al-Qaida plays out across the Middle East and beyond on a daily basis.”
“Over 39 trillion cubic meters of gas reserves remain undiscovered in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, the Dammam-based Arab Petroleum Investment Corporation (Apicorp) said in its study.”
Delta Wants Saudi On The Team: AVIATION RECORD
“Delta issued a statement saying: “Saudi Arabian’s growing hub in Riyadh and extensive network throughout the Middle East will bring Delta customers greater access to destinations across one of the world’s most important economic regions,” said Charlie Pappas, Delta’s VP – Alliances.”
Abdul Nabi Shaheen | 1/14/11
Saudi Arabia is planning a study to develop its information and communications technology (ICT) sector and make it rely significantly on local products rather than only on exports, said a senior Saudi ICT official.
Transport Industry Sees 10% Growth: SAUDI GAZETTE
Nawwaf Afit | 1/14/11
“A recent report has shown that the Kingdom’s transport sector is growing at a rate of 10 percent per year due to the growth in number of road works projects and rail lines and other development works across the country.”
“A day after toppling the Lebanese government, the Shiite Hezbollah movement and its allies were working to gain enough support in parliament to control the selection of Lebanon’s next prime minister,” Leila Fadel (Washington Post) reports, citing Lebanese officials.
Tunisia’s president has said he will not seek a new term in office in 2014, following widespread protests which have left at least 23 people dead, BBC News reports. President Ben Ali, addressing the nation in a speech, also pledged major reforms.
As the deadlock between Iran and Afghanistan over fuel imports enters its second month, pressure is mounting in Kabul to sever economic relations with Iran unless it eases its clampdown on fuel tankers attempting to cross into the country,” Meris Lutz (Babylon and Beyond) reports.
“President Asif Ali Zardari will meet with President Barack Obama in Washington Friday amid rising distrust and frustration on both sides that are rattling the alliance crucial to the America-led battle in Afghanistan and the fight against global terrorism,” Saeed Shah and Jonathan S. Landay (McClatchy) reports. TWO CLERICS SOUGHT: Police in Pakistan are searching for two hard-line Muslim clerics who allegedly inspired the assassin of a liberal politician gunned down last week, CNN reports.
“Hamas deployed forces near the Israeli border on Thursday to try to prevent smaller militant groups from firing rockets, a sign that the movement may be concerned about possible Israeli retaliation,” AP reports.
In Iraq, Shiite Cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has “demanded that the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki honor its pledges to end the US military presence, and has talked about having some of his militiamen re-arm,” Juan Cole (Informed Comment) writes. “Any small US force in Iraq would be at risk from Sadrist attacks, since that important political tendency among Shiites is strongly anti-imperialist. Al-Maliki only won a second term because of the momentum he gained from Sadr’s endorsement last September.”