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Business and Entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia: Opportunities to Partnering and Investing in Emerging Businesses


Drawing on his years of experience in counseling American business, in government as a diplomat living and working in Saudi Arabia, and as a businessman, Edward Burton introduces the reader to the emerging new class of entrepreneurs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The book tells the story of Saudi Arabia’s boom and why it deserves more of the world’s attention from a global business perspective. Much of the book’s content focuses on the transformative effects the aging of its family-owned business leaders are having on the reshaping of corporate boards, influencing technological innovation and changing the way business is done in what is one of the world’s youngest and wealthiest countries.


The book’s thrust is answering the question why Saudi Arabia’s current industrial and economic boom has relevance to global business and why it is important to American competitiveness to better know and understand Saudi Arabia. This book is important for investors also because of the following facts about Saudi Arabia:


  • It has been a member of the G-20 since 1999 and is its only Arab country member.
  • The size and strength of its economy is undeniable, constituting half of the Arabian Gulf’s GDP and 30 percent of the entire Arab world’s GDP.
  • Saudi Arabia enjoyed a 6.8 percent growth rate in 2012, and will best most of its fellow G-20 constituent members in GDP growth this year.
60 percent of the country’s population is below the age of 30. The major theme of this book will be the ascension of the country’s young entrepreneurial leaders. Interviews with young Saudi entrepreneurs will describe, in their own words, the challenges, triumphs, failed attempts and successful endeavors they experience every day. Some continue to respect and value instructions given them by the older generation as to time-tested methods of conducting business in the Kingdom. While others view shedding what they believe are antiquated business models or uncompetitive and outdated core competencies in a country rapidly experiencing increased foreign competition as a matter not only of survival, but longevity and primacy as well.