Saudi Crown Prince Reassures Foreign Investors after Corruption Crackdown

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is seeking to reassure the business community following the Kingdom’s crackdown on corruption, which netted over $100 billion for the Saudi government from alleged impropriety.

The secretive nature of the arrests and concerns over political motivations have worried local and foreign business leaders. More than 300 people, among them royals, politicians and business leaders, were detained at Riyadh’s Ritz-Carlton hotel. The hotel has since re-opened with a majority of the detainees released, while any remaining few detainees have been moved to other locations.

Reuters reports that Crown Prince Mohammed last month met senior local businessmen “to reassure them that the crackdown was mostly over and that it was safe to do business,” citing five Saudi and Western sources who spoke with people who attended the meetings.

Corruption has long saddled the Kingdom in its efforts to attract foreign investment and create a fair playing field for businesses at home. Reversing a standard of corrupt practices is a centerpiece of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 economic and social reform program.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is set to visit Washington, D.C. and host of other U.S. cities in March, reports say, though the exact date of the trip is not publicly known.