The U.S.-Saudi Arabian Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation

ID-79-7: Published: Mar 22, 1979. Publicly Released: Mar 29, 1979.

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The United States-Saudi Arabian Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation, established on the heels of the Arab oil embargo and price increases, fosters closer political ties between the two countries through economic cooperation; assists Saudi industrialization and development while recycling petrodollars; and facilitates the flow to Saudi Arabia of American goods, services, and technology. The Commission has a system of parallel command in which the United States Secretary of the Treasury and the Saudi Minister of Finance and Economy serve as co-chairmen and the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Treasury for International Affairs and the Saudi Deputy of Finance serve as coordinators.

U.S. technical assistance is funded almost entirely from the Saudi Arabian Trust Account in the U.S. Treasury. The U.S. Treasury presently views the Commission's function as one of providing technical assistance and advice to the Saudis. The Commission's current programs emphasize the development of Saudi infrastructure through technology transfer. It is essentially a reactive rather than initiating organization, but this is harmonious with Saudi desires at the present stage of the country's development. The Commission has 16 formalized projects in various stages of completion and several projects in the negotiation stage. U.S. commercial interest could be appropriately served if the Office of Saudi Arabian Affairs and Representation made information available which would fully appraise the U.S. business community of the opportunities available from Commission activities. Such information should help the U.S. business involvement.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: To highlight Commission activities and their inherent commercial opportunities, the Secretary of Treasury should have developed and made available to interested U.S. businessmen, the U.S. Embassy, and the Department of Commerce the information the Commission projects, both ongoing and planned, in sufficient detail to permit suppliers to identify possible commercial opportunities.

    Agency Affected:


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