Urbanization and population growth are driving changes in Riyadh, including a metro under construction by Bechtel.
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Saudi Arabia has never been a more inviting market for U.S. businesses, even as it poses foreign-policy headaches for the White House.Among America's 15 biggest trade partners, Saudi Arabia is the fastest-growing market for U.S. exports, which jumped by almost two-thirds to $19 billion in the three years through 2013, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.More than $7 billion of exports to the United Arab Emirates also end up in Saudi Arabia, and there's also almost $8 billion spent by Saudis studying in America, which constitutes exports of U.S. services, and about $2 billion in activities such as engineering, construction, and financial and legal services that don't show up in the trade figures, according to the official, who asked not to be identified because of customary rules. He put the total of U.S. goods and services exports to Saudi Arabia last year at $36.2 billion.That's because King Abdullah, relieved to have escaped the regional turmoil, is ramping up spending to keep things that way, and American companies like Bechtel and DaVita are among those benefiting.Bechtel's ties with Saudi Arabia are almost as old as America's.
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