Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman to meet Donald Trump for foreign investment

Namrata Tripathi
Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman to meet Donald Trump for foreign investment

Saudi Arabia's Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman will meet United States President Donald Trump to seek foreign investment under his nation's economic reform plan.

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Prince Mohammed will be the highest-ranking leader from Saudi Arabia to hold talks with Trump ever since the Republican assumed office in January. The official visit, which begins on Thursday, will focus on "strengthening of bilateral relations... and regional issues of mutual interest," the Saudi Press Agency said.

Prince Mohammed, son of King Salman, is second in line to the Saudi throne and currently, acts as the defence minister of the country. However, much of his focus seems to be on economic issues.

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Saudi Arabia is the Arab world's largest economy and exports more oil than any other country in the world. However, the future seems bleak for the nation ever since 2014 which marked a drop in global oil prices, leaving the Saudi kingdom with a huge budget deficit and billions of dollars in debt to private firms, particularly construction companies.

The oil-dependent nation has begun preparing for the life ahead by pursuing its 'Vision 2030' economic diversification effort. The nation's goal is to broaden its investment and business base by placing more Saudis in the private sector than ever before. Prince Mohammed is the chief proponent of Saudi's Vision 2030.

Saudi Arabia and the US have a decades-old relationship which is based on the exchange of American security for Saudi oil. However, the ties between the countries were tensed during the administration of former US President Barack Obama. Leaders in Saudi Arabia felt that Obama was hesitant to get involved in the Syrian civil war and was tilting towards Iran, which is Saudi's regional rival.

However, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said that he feels positive about Trump's presidency and expects it to be more engaged in the region, particularly in restricting Iran. It's hardly been three months to Trump's presidency and his administration has already formulated sanctions against Iran for missile tests.

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