In his address today at the Jeddah Economic Forum, former U.S. President Bill Clinton praised the Middle East initiative of Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, the Deputy Premier and Commander of the National Guard, describing him as the first leader to submit a viable vision on achieving peace in the region.
Reviewing the Kingdom’s oil policy, Senior Advisor at the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resoutces Dr. Muhammad Al-Sabban commented that taxes imposed by certain countries are a matter of great concern to the Kingdom, and called for diversification of economic resources to maintain surplus energy and achieve oil stability. The session on oil was also addressed by former President of Mexico Ernesto Zedillo and Sweden's Minister of Economic Affairs and International Markets Gunnar Lund.
In his address on Saturday, Minister of Commerce and Industry Dr. Hashim Yamani referred to Crown Prince Abdullah’ s recent remarks on the pursuit of reform, to reflect the changing situation in the global economy. He commented that the Kingdom's efforts to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) are proceeding rapidly, but said there is no date set for its accession. Minister of Economy and Planning Khalid Al-Qusaibi stressed the need to promote the private sector and expand its contributions to encompass various economic, productive and service sectors, notably electric power, gas, air transportation, health, and education.