Saudi inks trade deals worth $50 billion at investment conference

Riyadh [Saudi Arabia], Oct 24 (ANI): Saudi Arabia has signed trade deals worth 50 billion USD with global companies at the investment conference 'Davos in Desert' amid the international furore over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Firms from eight countries including the United States signed 15 Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) worth $34 billion with State oil company, Aramco at the Future Investment Initiative, reported CNN. Companies based in the United Arab Emirates, Japan, India and China have also signed a deal with Aramco. CNN Business quoted Aramco CEO Amir Nasser as saying that 16 billion USD worth of deals had been done in other sectors of the Saudi economy. Aramco is also partnering with US oilfield service firms Halliburton (HAL), Schlumberger (SLB) and Baker Hughes (BHGE). US conglomerate Air Products (APD) will also be working on a gas power project. In a statement, Aramco said, "These collaborations reflect the range and ambition of Saudi Aramco's business interests, reinforcing its position as the world's preeminent energy and chemicals company. The Future Investment Initiative or Davos in Desert that kicked off on Tuesday highlighted Saudi's initiatives of investment into domestic tourism projects and global tech companies as part of an effort to diversify the economy as well as to reflect the country's modernisation efforts. Several countries are still investing in Saudi despite the global uproar over Khashoggi's killing since they have decades-long relations and partnership with the Gulf country. Khashoggi, a critic of Saudi Arabia's crown prince Mohammed bin Salman went missing on October 2 after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. While Turkey claimed that Khashoggi was murdered in the consulate, Saudi officials said that the journalist died there after a brawl.
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