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Saudi Arabia: 16 State Agencies Ready for Privatization | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Saudi capital Riyadh (AFP Photo/Saul Loeb)

Riyadh– Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Center for Privatization of the Saudi Ministry of Economy and Planning Turki al-Hugail announced that 16 state institutions are ready to enter the first phase of the privatization program.

The agencies were chosen after an evaluation of 147 state entities, in addition to 85 projects of both private and public sectors as part of the National Transformation Program (NTP).

Hugail said: “Some entities are ready for privatization such as airports, sports clubs and flour mills, while others need more time.”

The CEO added that work is being processed to prepare other institutions for private acquisition or operation.

Hugail was speaking on Monday evening during a briefing on the role and programs of the center which was organized by the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry represented by the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA).

He explained that a number of activities in these sectors, which the private sector might seek to invest in, have been determined. He added that efforts are being exerted to attract local and foreign investors who wish to benefit from the privatization program of certain services in the public sector.

Hugail pointed out that the target in the first phase of the privatization program comprises a number of ministries in certain activities, including: education, municipal and rural affairs, health, labor, transport of various kinds, as well as public services such as water desalination and national water, sports clubs, Saudi Organization for Grain, postal services, and King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center.

He indicated that the center is the only entity that will announce investment opportunities within the privatization program by defining the procedures utilized by the private sector.

Hugail concluded that Vision 2030 allowed a number of investment opportunities for the private sector.

He then called upon the private sector to continue its cooperation with the center to benefit from their opportunities and work together to overcome obstacles in future privatization programs.