1. Various of people at the investment forum in Saudi
2. SOUNDBITE (English) David Hamod, president and CEO of the National US-Arab Chamber of Commerce:
"Yesterday’s speech was electrifying, it lit up the hall, it was certainly the highlight of the entire conference. I believe it gave the Saudis a great deal of confidence, hearing what the Crown Prince had to say and we hope that he will get to the bottom of it as quickly as possible. Having said that, I think a lot of US companies are still on pause, they're in a wait-and-see mode, they'd like to find out what the next steps are and then I think they will evaluate their position toward Saudi Arabia."
3. Pan down from chandelier to conference hall
4. Woman fixing her headscarf
5. SOUNDBITE (English) David Hamod, president and CEO of the National US-Arab Chamber of Commerce:
"So there are some US companies who are not here at the conference, I’ve always believed that it's more important to have a seat at the table as my president Donald Trump would say 'if you’re not at the table you can't be part of the deal' so I regret that some of those companies didn't make it, but I certainly understand why; they have stakeholders they have institutional shareholders to which they're held accountable, so we'll have to wait and see whether their position in the aftermath of yesterday's speech changes."
6. Various of people walking into the Ritz Carlton, where the conference is taking place
7. SOUNDBITE (English) David Hamod, president and CEO of the National US-Arab Chamber of Commerce:
"I think the reaction of the international investment community in recent weeks has shocked Saudi Arabia, in a sense it's a wakeup call. However, I'd like to say for us as a chamber this is all about partnerships, it's a long-term relationship, we have a 50-year partnership, Saudi Arabia is a lynchpin in the region, 70 percent of the US exports coming to the region directly or indirectly are coming to Saudi Arabia, so this is a long-term partnership and we're not going anywhere."
8. Various of Ritz-Carlton sign
9. Various of fountain and Saudi flags outside the hotel
Investors present at a forum in Saudi Arabia, marred by controversy following the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Instabul, got a boost of confidence after a fiery and unwavering appearance by the country’s Crown Prince.
But the remarks may still not be enough for those who stayed away from the event
Many international business leaders pulled out of the Future Investment Initiative, the kingdom’s main economic forum, after Khashoggi's death inside the Kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul in early October.
During his appearance at the forum on Wednesday, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman called the killing of the Washington Post columnist "heinous" and "painful to all Saudis," before warning anyone against trying to "manipulate" the crisis and drive a wedge between the kingdom and Turkey.
Mohammed bin Salman was joined onstage by two Arab allies as he made his first extensive public remarks about the killing that has sparked widespread condemnation and marred his international standing after Turkish reports said a member of his entourage was involved in the crime.
David Hamod, the president and CEO of the National US-Arab Chamber of Commerce, told the AP that the speech had been "electrifying," adding "I believe it gave the Saudis a great deal of confidence, hearing what the Crown Prince had to say and we hope that he will get to the bottom of it as quickly as possible."
Hamod added that a lot of US companies, however, remained on a wait and see mode. "They’d like to find out what the next steps are and then I think they will evaluate their position toward Saudi Arabia," Hamod underlined.
In the forum’s vast and ornate auditorium, thousands of people who did attend rose to their feet to applaud the 33-year-old heir whose strong showing underscored his reputation for being bold and assertive.
The crisis overshadowed the crown prince’s high-profile economic forum, aimed at raising much needed investments to underwrite his plans to overhaul the Saudi economy.
After the killing, many international business leaders and Western officials pulled out of the forum, including the CEOs of JPMorgan Chase, Uber, Siemens and Blackrock. Western media outlets withdrew as partners for the event.
Instead, the forum spotlighted how the kingdom’s regional allies have rushed to rally behind the crown prince.
Hamod said the international investment community's reaction to the scandal had "shocked Saudi Arabia, in a sense it's a wakeup call."
But he added that the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the US was a long-term one "and we're not going anywhere."