Sheikh Talal Zahid hosts dinner celebrating visit to Jeddah of Dr. Jim Owens, CEO of Caterpillar inc.

Published January 3rd, 2010 - 09:37 GMT

Sheikh Talal Zahid, Chairman of the Zahid Group, recently hosted a dinner in Jeddah honoring Dr. Jim Owens, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Caterpillar Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment. Dr. Owens’ visit to Saudi Arabia included meetings with senior management of Zahid Tractor & Heavy Machinery Co. Ltd., the exclusive distributor of Caterpillar in the Kingdom, and also meetings with key clients, culminating with a tour of Zahid Tractor's facilities in Jeddah.

Welcoming Dr. Owens, Sheikh Fahad Y. Zahid, Executive Vice President of Zahid Tractor, said:” We are greatly honored by this landmark visit that underscores the key role our partnership with Caterpillar has played in the development of the Kingdom’s construction industry over the past sixty years.”

Sheikh Fahad went on to say: “It is a role that continues to grow in importance as the Kingdom embarks on a new, long-term phase of development in which, this time round, mega-projects are the main feature, making the Kingdom one of the most attractive countries in the world in terms of investment opportunities that cover a wide range of residential and commercial real estate development, industrial expansion and infrastructure projects.” 

Responding to Sheikh Fahad’s greeting, Dr. Owens said: “I have long looked forward to visiting Saudi Arabia, which is one of Caterpillar’s biggest and most strategically important markets, and at last I can see for myself the immense growth of the Kingdom’s cities, its vast network of roads and highways, and the impressive array of architectural styles. Equally impressive is Saudi Arabia’s resilience to the global economic crisis and the country’s strong financial position that enables it to continue with the mega development projects that are a key component in the government’s efforts to stimulate the economy.”

He added: “It gives me a great sense of pride in Caterpillar’s partnership with Zahid, a long and lasting association that has enabled us to be part of the growth and development of this great nation, and alongside Sheikh Talal and Sheikh Fahad, I have had the pleasure of meeting those companies that it is our privilege to count among our best customers.” 

Dr. Owens, a native of Elizabeth City, N.C., graduated from North Carolina University in 1973 with a Ph.D in economics and in 1975 joined Caterpillar Inc. as a corporate economist.  Since then he has held numerous management positions leading up to his appointment as chairman and chief executive officer in 2004. He is also a director of Alcoa in Pittsburg, Pa, and IBM Corporation in Armonk, N.Y.

In addition, Dr. Owens is a director of the Peterson Institute for Global Economics; a director of the Council of Foreign Relations; a member of the International Economics; and a member of the Global Advisory Council to The Conference Board in New York. He is chairman of the International Trade and Investment Task Force of the Business Roundtable; chairman of the Business Council; and a member of US President Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board in Washington, D.C.   

Established more than 80 years ago and with 2008 sales and revenues of $51.3 billion, Caterpillar Inc. is the world's leading   manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines and industrial gas turbines.

Zahid has represented Caterpillar Inc. in Saudi Arabia since 1950, supplying machinery and equipment to virtually all of the Kingdom’s public and private sector enterprises. Business growth resulted in Zahid Tractor & Heavy Machinery Co. Ltd. being incorporated in 1967 and today, Zahid Tractor’s Construction Machinery Division (CMD) manages one of the world’s biggest Caterpillar dealerships.

Implementing innovation and advanced technology, the company is renowned for quality and world-class standards. Achievements include ISO 9001 certification and becoming the first in the Kingdom to adopt Six Sigma with a focus on developing and delivering perfect products and services

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