Saudi Minister Meets US Business Leaders - SAGIA Meets with Massachusetts State Treasurer, hosted by Atlantic Financial Inc.

February 24, 2008 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
The Governor of the Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority (SAGIA) His Excellency Amr Al Dabbagh was joined in Boston this week by Massachusetts State Treasurer Tim Cahill and a dozen academic and business leaders to discuss cooperation and business opportunities between Saudi Arabia and the US. The meeting was hosted by Bruce Fenton, President of Atlantic Financial Inc., an investment company that focuses on the Middle East region.

Governor Dabbagh highlighted SAGIA’s construction of six economic super cities and discussed the many economic incentives available to US based companies who might be interested in business opportunities in Saudi Arabia. The economic super cities are King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), Knowledge Economic City (KEC), Prince Abdulaziz bin Mousaed Economic City (PABMEC), Jizan Economic City (JEC) and two more economic cities are expected one each in Tabouk and Dammam. Total infrastructure investment in Saudi Arabia is projected to exceed both the US and China. Governor Dabbagh highlighted the desire for Saudi corporations to draw on the expertise of US firms and the ways in which Saudi Arabia can benefit US companies as consumers and as a source of consumption, capital and a gateway to the region.

“The economic growth and social change in this region is astounding,” said Fenton. “It’s really one of the largest stories in the world today. People in the US need to know more about Saudi Arabia’s amazing accomplishments. We need a much greater level of understanding between our countries so it's great that these business and academic leaders were able to hear more about the region’s latest developments.” Fenton’s firm provides US investors with access to the region, “Although business opportunity is extraordinary, what is even more important is bridging the cultural gap, no place in the world is more misunderstood by Americans than Saudi Arabia.”

“It’s important to build communication and understanding between our nations,” said Treasurer Cahill. “Governor Dabbagh outlined the many exciting reforms and changes Saudi Arabia is going through, and discussed ways in which Saudi Arabian economic growth can benefit Massachusetts companies and institutions.” Treasurer Cahill is responsible for economic growth of the $350 billion Massachusetts economy as well as the management of $60 billion in state government pension assets.

Governor Dabbagh’s group is the driving force behind the 10 by 10 strategy a goal set by Saudi Arabia to be ranked as a top-10 global economy by 2010. Fenton pointed out the hundreds of developments that were made already to bring Saudi Arabia from the triple digit rankings to the current rankings which surpass many other developed economies. Attendees at the private meeting represented some of the largest and most innovative companies and academic institutions in America.

In addition to Governor Al Dabbagh, Treasurer Tim Cahill and Bruce Fenton, the meeting was attended by Desh Deshpande, Chairman of Sycamore Networks, a publicly traded tech company, Stephen Pagliuca, Managing Director of Bain Capital, one of the world’s largest private equity firms and owner of over $70 billion worth of large corporations including Dominoes Pizza, Dunkin Donuts and 3Com, David Wajsgras Chief Financial Officer of Raytheon, a 72,000 employee defence contractor, Ben Thorndike Director of Investor Relations at Bain Capital, James Freeman of Cantella & Company a Boston based investment broker dealer, Tom Kennedy of The Kennedy Group communications consulting, Jane Nelson of the Kennedy School of Government, Anne Habiby, Consultant and expert on developing economies, Norman Strate, President of medical device company TBS Technologies, Rodney LaBrecque of Wilbraham & Monson Academy, a Massachusetts private high school that offers a global entrepreneurial study program and other business and academic leaders.

Alison Mitchell, 617-367-6900 (Office of Treasurer Cahill)
Bruce Fenton, 781-982-4911 (Atlantic Financial)