Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Gulf States Umbrella Organization

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Gulf States Umbrella Organization

Article excerpt

Washington Report readers are at least obliquely aware of the existence of various American businessmen's groups in major cities of the Arab states of the Gulf. In coordination with the US Chamber of Commerce and other groups that share their goals and interests, these groups sent six delegations to Washington during the past five years to present their viewpoints to members of Congress and the executive branch. Delegates are Americans whose activities affect the economies of every American state.

A big step forward in presenting overseas business issues was the creation of an umbrella organization for all of the member groups: The American Businessmen of the Gulf Arab States.

Dick Meade, already president of the American Businessmen's Group of Riyadh, was elected its first chairman. Ted Bevec and David Bosch from the Saudi Arabian eastern province group were elected vice-chairman and secretary respectively.

In turn, this writer became the umbrella group's Washington representative, with a special mandate to coordinate with the US Chamber of Commerce on those issues that affect all Americans working abroad.

Perhaps our biggest success story of the past year was our placement of an American expert to work with the Saudi Arabian Standards Organization in Riyadh to formulate standards governing all imports into the Kingdom. These standards will inevitably be adopted by the other GCC states. To get the expert in place now, we were able to raise funds through private donors and are now lobbying for federal funding of the position through the Department of Commerce. …

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