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NY starts a series of mega business deals for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed

Following his oval office with US president Trump, Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman has stayed relatively low key.

Though making significant discussions with top universities on issues related to health, technology and science, momentum is just starting to pick up.

CNBC reported today that the Saudi crown prince and Softbank chief are hunting for investments in New York, though a confirmation of that is still waiting.

Today though will be busy and intense with a business agenda bursting at the seams.

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The Saudi press agency on Monday tweeted a photo of Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and Masayoshi Son, the CEO and chairman of Japanese tech investment giant Softbank.

Prince Mohammed and Masayoshi are “looking for a number of investment opportunities,” according to the tweet, which was hashtagged #CrownPrinceinNYC.

“Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund is one of the primary investors in Softbank’s roughly $100 billion Vision Fund, and Softbank intends to invest as much as $25 billion in the kingdom in the next few years, $15bn of which in NEOM,” CNBC said.

NEOM is a $500bn 100% renewable city project by the Red Sea, announced last November.

“(Crown) Prince Mohammed is now in New York City, where he will attend a CEO Summit on Tuesday. The day’s agenda includes a panel on Saudi Arabia’s so-called “giga-projects” like NEOM,” said CNBC.

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Serious business

Arab News reported that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will hold a series of meetings in New York to bolster cooperation and investment between major Saudi and American financial and economic institutions.
“He will hold meetings with CEOs, senior businessmen and representatives of major Wall Street banks and his New York schedule includes meetings with prominent political, financial and economic figures, including partners in the Red Sea Beach Tourism Project,” the Arab daily said.

“He will reportedly meet the city’s former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and heads of US firms during a dinner banquet and the crown prince will sponsor and participate in the Saudi-US CEO Forum in New York, which will be attended by influential economic figures such as Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan, and Adena Friedman, CEO and president of NASDAQ.”

Stephen Schwarzman, CEO of Blackstone Group, will host an event for the crown prince on Tuesday, the daily said.

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The Harvard Crimson said Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his entourage descended on Harvard last Saturday evening to discuss higher education with Boston-area university leaders and faculty.

While at Harvard, Prince Mohammed participated in two private roundtable conversations at the University’s faculty club—one with Harvard professors who focus on Saudi Arabia and other areas pertinent to the reforms he outlined in his Saudi Vision 2030 document.

The second event involved presidents of local universities and colleges, who spoke about higher education and technology-related education.

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal gave $20 million to Harvard in 2005, prompting the University to establish the Alwaleed Islamic Studies Program and to endow three professorships in his name.

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Crown Prince Mohammed visited MIT for a forum entitled “Innovation to Impact” earlier Saturday

Arab News reported that at least seven agreements were struck during the visit, including a cooperation between state energy giant Saudi Aramco and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the field of sustainable development in the energy sector.

According to the Boston Globe, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman  visited MIT on Saturday to promote an academic energy agreement while the second annual ‘‘Innovation to Impact Forum’’ took place in conjunction with bin Salman’s visit, and featured exhibits from by MIT-affiliated companies like robotics group Boston Dynamics, and international businesses like oil company Saudi Aramco.

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Arab news said the crown prince visited IBM Watson Health in Massachusetts, as he explores “areas of cooperation between the Kingdom and the United States,” the Saudi Embassy said in a tweet.

During the visit, the center’s Senior Vice President David Kenny briefed the crown prince on the potential applications of artificial intelligence in the health care field, according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

The crown prince also toured the biomechatronics lab at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where scientists work on technologies to restore function to individuals who have impaired mobility due to trauma or disease.

At the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology pavilion at MIT, four programs were presented, including the “Fast Innovation Track,” which seeks to establish an environment aiming to increase bilateral trade between Saudi Arabia and the US.