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Apple And Amazon Discussing How To Establish A Direct Presence In Saudi

By Staff Reporter | Dec 29, 2017 09:43 AM EST

Discussions are going on between Saudi Arabia's capital city Riyadh and the tech-giants Apple and Amazon about establishing a direct presence to sell their products there for the first time ever.

The talks are being pushed by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman as part of his initiative to give a futuristic finish to the conservative nation according to a recent report in Reuters News.

If successful, these discussions would give Apple and Amazon an opportunity to side-step the third parties they currently need to go through to sell products in Saudi Arabia due to regulatory impediments on foreign investment in the kingdom.

These impediments have been easing over the last two years as the price of crude oil has fallen, making it necessary for the Saudi's oil-dependent economy to seek new investment sources.

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With a whooping 70 percent of its population under the age of 30 pushing internet and smartphone use to some of the highest levels in the world, Saudi Arabia is a ripe market for Apple and Amazon. These and other giants of the tech industry would put intense pressure on the smaller local players who currently control the market in Saudi Arabia.

Leading up to these discussions, Riyadh officials have been wooing big names in Silicon Valley for the past two years, spearheaded by Prince Mohammed.

An avowed tech enthusiast, Prince Mohammed has styled the reforms paving the way for today's discussions between Apple and Amazon as disruptions in the line of technology breakthrough artists and all-stars Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg.

Apple and Amazon made the shortlist of high-tech companies to attract to further their reform plans, according to reports.

For Amazon, the development highlights how the company is looking to gain an advantage to selling its cloud computing and data storage services to customers who live in the Middle East. If successful, a deal with Amazon also could open the door for a growth in the number of Amazon retail warehouses in Saudi Arabia.

For Apple, a direct presence would open the way for Apple stores to be established in Saudi Arabia that would would raise the brand in the country to an all-time high, especially in relation to Samsung.
Both Apple and Amazon have yet to make any comment about the reported discussions with Riyadh.

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