The arrests of Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and dozens of current and former ministers during Saudi Arabiaâ€™s surprise anti-corruption sweep over the weekend provides an enormous long-term opportunity for U.S. business, former Shell Oil President John Hoftmeister told FOX Business.
â€œFrom a business standpoint, Iâ€™m not particularly worried because what the [Future Investment Initiative] conference brought out a few weeks ago was just the tremendous investment thatâ€™s going to take place in the Kingdom and itâ€™s all about business â€“ Business under Saudi terms, however,â€ Hofmeister told Connell McShane on â€œCavuto: Coast to Coast.â€
Last month, Saudi Arabia hosted a financial summit, which brought high-profile investors and corporate leaders to the Kingdom in hopes of attracting investments as part of an effort to reduce its dependency on oil revenues. In Hofmeisterâ€™s opinion, the Kingdomâ€™s goal to diversify is significant.
â€œBusiness has a huge opportunity to help remake the country into what itâ€™s going to become and whether itâ€™s the oil and gas business and the IPO of Saudi Aramco or whether it is the building out of the infrastructure and all the businesses associated with that or the new sectors of the economy that they are working on such as technology and information management,â€ Hofmeister said.
The clampdown has not drawn public opposition within the Kingdom, but critics abroad perceive the effort as risky play from a power hungry leader. However, Hofmeister believes the Crown Prince will eventually win approval overseas.
â€œIf youâ€™ve done business with the Saudis over the years, you know that they want what they want and they are going to get what they want because they are in chargeâ€¦ and so the notion that there is an opposition or people resisting Mohammad Bin Salman, thatâ€™s going to go away, or heâ€™s going to go awayâ€¦ so get used to it,â€ he said.