SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) – A select group of mayors from across the country, including Southfield’s Brenda Lawrence, are on a special mission — to Saudi Arabia.

The mission, beginning this week, is being led by the U.S. Conference of Mayors to provide American municipal leaders an opportunity to build business relations between their cities and business people in Saudi Arabia. Mayor Lawrence says it’s a privilege to be invited. “With women being given the right to vote and to actually hold office in municipalities or cities in their country, I will be there as an actual role model,” she says.

Lawrence says there are many opportunities for commerce and economic development. “This is very clear from the Saudi Arabia Embassy that they really want to concentrate on spending a lot of time with business leaders, and department of commerce and economic development, and their country on how we can partner.” And Lawrence adds, “They are currently very active and present in our country. And so how can Southfield get a piece of this and bring some jobs here and have some investment in my city. It’s going to be a top priority.”

Also, Lawrence says it’s important to maintain a strong relationship, considering that metro Detroit has strong cultural, corporate and economic ties to the Middle East.

The select group of mayors will be in Saudi Arabia through October 21st. The “Conference of Mayors” and the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia are covering the expenses.


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