Saudi Arabia gives Trump billions of dollars

Billions of Saudi dollars will be invested in American startups, creating tens of thousands of jobs over the next decade.

This week, Donald Trump proudly tried to take credit for a pledged $50 billion investment from SoftBank, saying it would create 50,000 jobs. The company’s CEO and founder Masayoshi Son pledged the funds after meeting with Trump on Tuesday.

Although the company is Japanese, the fund that will invest in American startups was created in October with a $45 billion pledge from Saudi Arabia. The move will make the kingdom the lead investor in the $100 billion fund, and one of the biggest investors in tech in the world.

Trump claimed that the investment wouldn’t have happened if he hadn’t won the election.

But, the fund was formed several weeks before the American election. Considering the United States is a global leader in technology and startups, it’s only natural to assume that a large portion of the fund would have gone to the country.

The news comes as Saudi Arabia gears up for the uncertainty that marks Trump’s impending presidency. During his campaign, the president-elect called for halting all Saudi oil imports and criticized his opponent, Hillary Clinton, because her family’s foundation accepted money from the kingdom.

Trump argued that Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries kill gays and abuse women. He said these countries had “bought her [Clinton] off.” At the same time, he praised Saudis during his campaign, saying they buy multi-million dollar apartments from him.

“They spend $40 million, $50 million. Am I supposed to dislike them? I like them very much,” he said. He also launched eight businesses in the kingdom at the beginning of his campaign.

For the first time since 1999, Saudi Arabia is forecast to fall into an economic recession in 2017, as the global oil market flounders. The SoftBank fund is one way the kingdom is addressing the issue and diversifying its finances.

Additionally, the kingdom has put forward the ambitious Vision 2030. The national transformation plan aims to diversify the kingdom’s economy away from reliance on oil by expanding entrepreneurship opportunities, growing the technology sector, increasing entertainment options and opening Saudi Arabia’s doors for more tourism.

To shore up international support for its efforts, the kingdom has moved to build relationships with key international partners, meeting with tech giants such as Facebook and Microsoft.


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