2002 News Story

Saudi Arabia reveals details of privatization program

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has announced plans to privatize many of its vital economic sectors.  Sectors open to privatization include: telecommunications, civil aviation, desalination, highway management, railways, sports clubs, municipal services, health services and government hotels.

Information Minister Dr. Fuad Al-Farsi said the cabinet approved the privatization list upon the recommendation of the Supreme Economic Council (SEC), which is chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz.

In order to make this privatization program as productive as possible the cabinet specified that the Supreme Economic Council take overall charge of the program.  The SEC will specify the activities to be privatized and set out a strategic plan and timetable for the privatization program. "The SEC will supervise privatization of all activities  ... and take the necessary measures to complete the privatization process as per the rules and regulations," Al-Farsi said after the cabinet meeting.

The privatization list also includes operation and management of social service centers, Saudi employment services, agricultural services, establishment of health facilities and transportation of patients.  Of municipal services, Al-Farsi said, construction and management of abattoirs, public parks and recreation centers, cleaning and garbage disposal services will also be included in the program.