News – 2011.12.02

Published: December 2, 2011

SUSRIS Daily News – Excerpts from International Media Reports
/Provided as a service from the Saudi-US Trade Group, Washington, DC/

12.2.11 EDITION

2nd U.S.-Saudi Business Opportunities Forum to Take Place in Atlanta December 5-7 at Omni Hotel CNN Center: BUSINESSWIRE

The second U.S.-Saudi Business Opportunities Forum will be held in Atlanta next week at the Omni Hotel at CNN Center December 5-7, 2011. The first forum was held in Chicago in April 2010 with more than 1,100 attendees. Already the largest economy in the region and a key member of the G20, Saudi Arabia is undergoing an extraordinary economic boom. Massive public investment, rapid private-sector growth, and new sector initiatives are driving an expansion projected to offer more than $1 trillion in trade and investment opportunities over the next decade. This three-day Forum will highlight the U.S.-Saudi commercial and trade relationship and how U.S. companies can participate in Saudi Arabia’s expansion. It will also provide a unique platform for U.S. and Saudi executives to establish new and lasting business ties.

**The Saudi-US Trade Group (SUSTG) Is A Proud Organizer Of This Event**

Record Number of Saudi Students Now Studying in the U.S: ROYAL EMBASSY OF SAUDI ARABIA


The number of Saudi students studying in the United States has reached nearly 50, 000, announced the Saudi Cultural Attaché Assistant for Administrative and Financial Affairs in Washington, D.C., Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Subayil. “Studying in the U.S. and other countries throughout the world is a great opportunity for Saudi students,” said Saudi Ambassador to the United States Adel A. Al-Jubeir. “Dialogue fostered through the King Abdullah Scholarship Program will help promote peace and cultural understanding for generations to come.”

Saudi Arabia To Exploit Solar Energy For Desalination Plants: ARAB NEWS


Saudi Arabia intends to depend heavily on solar energy to operate desalination plants instead of oil and gas as part of its efforts to make use of alternative and renewable energy sources.

Saudi Arabia Rejects Amnesty’s Repression Claims: RTT NEWS


Saudi Ambassador to the United Kingdom Prince Muhammad bin Nawaf on Thursday rejected an Amnesty International report that accused the oil-rich Gulf Kingdom of repression, and stressed that the report was based on “inaccurate information.”

Arabtec Saudi Arabia Wins Infrastructure Contract: CONSTRUCTION WEEK ONLINE


Arabtec Saudi Arabia has won an infrastructure contract in the kingdom, though refuses to disclose its identity. The parent and the UAE’s biggest builder, Arabtec Holding, said the project is the third awarded to the subsidiary in the country, alongside a mandate to build 46 buildings in the Princess Noura bint Abdulrahman University in Riyadh and the construction of 5,000 villas and related infrastructure work for a residential project for Saudi Binladin, Saudi’s largest contractor.

How I Made it: Nahed Taher: FINANCIAL TIMES

Stephen Wilmot | 12/2/11

A debate is growing in the west as to whether society might just be better off with fewer investment bankers. Yet Nahed Taher believes her native Saudi Arabia desperately needs more of them. She has even backed her belief by setting up and running Gulf One Investment Bank.

Still Rich But No Longer So Calm: ECONOMIST


The notion that the Gulf is a haven of serenity while the rest of the Arab world burns—or goes to the polls—is beginning to seem less plausible.

Chart of the Week: Oil’s Breakeven Price: WALL STREET PIT


One way to gauge support for the price of oil is to calculate the breakeven price. In other words, what is the dollar amount per barrel that would be required for an oil-producing country to balance its fiscal budget? Several factors go into this calculation such as the location (and quality) of a country’s reserves, and the spending habits of the federal government.

Saudi Polymers Plan To Start Up Polyolefins Complex by Year-End: PLATTS


Saudi Polymers plans to start up its new integrated polyolefins complex in Jubail, Saudi Arabia by the end of the year, a source close to the company said Friday.

More News and Commentary from SUSTG


Syria risks being engulfed in a civil war unless President Bashar al-Assad’s government ends its crackdown on opposition protesters, said the top human-rights official of the United Nations, Jennifer M. Freedman and Massoud A. Derhally (Bloomberg) report.  “The Syrian authorities’ continual ruthless oppression, if not stopped now, can drive the country into a full-fledged civil war,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said at a special session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.  HOW NOT TO INTERVENE IN SYRIA: Richard Gowan (Foreign Policy) writes, faced with this potential crisis, regional leaders and European policy-makers seem to be edging toward proposals for some sort of humanitarian intervention. While Chinese and Russian diplomats darkly hint that NATO wants to launch another war, Western leaders have little stomach for a Libyan-style air campaign. European air forces need a break after their longer-than-expected operations over Libya, and the Syrian military still has considerable firepower.



Al Arabiya reports, the Muslim Brotherhood, banned but semi-tolerated under Mubarak, says its Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) expects to win 43 percent of party list votes in the first stage of a complex and lengthy election process that lasts into January.  Many had forecast that the Brotherhood would convert its decades of grassroots social and religious work, as well as its opposition to Mubarak, into a solid electoral showing.  ISLAMISTS ELECTORAL RISE DUE TO FAILED SECULARISM: At least some of this fear and bewilderment is due to old, persisting misperceptions — and a bit of narcissism. The suave, English-speaking Cairo residents who fronted the Egyptian revolution to Western television viewers may have made it seem like their own handiwork, with a little help from Facebook and Twitter. But they were never representative of the Egyptian population or the religiously conservative working classes that really tipped the balance against Hosni Mubarak, writes Pankaj Mishra (Bloomberg).


The European Union has added 180 Iranian officials and entities to its sanctions list but has declined – for the time being – to impose an embargo on the country’s oil, reports Joshua Chaffin (Financial Times). US SENATE APPROVES SANCTIONS ON IRAN: The U.S. Senate unanimously approved a measure yesterday to sanction the Central Bank of Iran, a move intended to shrink Iran’s oil exports and deprive it of cash that might be used in nuclear or missile programs, Bloomberg reports.


The former US military headquarters in Iraq has been handed over to the Iraqi authorities.  The base, Camp Victory, is in the grounds of a huge palace complex built by Saddam Hussein near Baghdad airport, the BBC reports.


The International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor requested an arrest warrant for Sudan’s defense minister on Friday as part of its investigation into atrocities in the Darfur conflict.  The ICC has already issued arrest warrants for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on charges of orchestrating genocide in Darfur, as well as for a former minister of state for the interior and a militia leader, all of whom remain at large and in the case of Bashir, free to travel widely, Al Arabiya reports.


“Pakistan is, at best, a maddening and frustrating ally. Its combination of poor leadership and social and political weakness make it far more capable of harming US interests than of constructively contributing to them. But the current course is leading to disaster. In the end, by any objective measure, the US has far more at stake in Pakistan than it does in Afghanistan. This is the central, organizing policy principle which Washington must grasp, before it is too late,” Robert Grenier (Al Jazeera) writes.

/The daily news is provided as a service of the Saudi-US Trade Group, Washington, DC. Visit for more information and to get a free email subscription to the News Review./</h4></div>