1997 News Story

Council of Ministers meeting

Crown Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz, Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard presided over the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers today and affirmed the Saudi government's concern to support the private sector by giving priority to the requirements of the infrastructure such as transportation, telecommunications, electricity and industrial cities to ensure a high level of efficiency akin to the standards of the advanced countries.

Prince Abdullah added that during the on-going Sixth Development Plan, the government, under the leadership of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz, has taken a number of practical steps to meet the mounting demand for supplies related to the infrastructure, in addition to the intensified efforts to preserve the existing infrastructure through regular maintenance.

Minister of Information Dr. Fouad Al-Farsi reported that the Crown Prince reaffirmed the necessity of coordination between different governmental bodies and chambers of commerce and industry to take appropriate measures to implement programs designed to support and develop small-scale projects in the fields of exploring investments and improvement in the related financial terms as well as expansion of activities of the Saudi Credit Bank and expansion in the incentive system in order to cover projects, thus ensuring their success and luring additional national investors for participation in the fields of development and investment that they may better their living standards.

Praising the capital investment of Saudi citizens in the industrial and agricultural and other projects in the Kingdom, Crown Prince Abdullah described this trend as a far-sighted step which testifies to their concern for supporting the national economy and reflects awareness of assuming national responsibility through backing the Kingdom's comprehensive development.

On the other hand, Prince Abdullah confirmed the importance the government attaches to foreign investment ever since the initial phases of development in the process of technology transfer and patterns of advanced management as well as development of self-reliance in the private sector. He said the economic offset program in association with the foreign capital investment system, has been a key tool in the government's encouragement policy targeting joint ventures while it develops means and mechanisms to attract foreign investment . Under the directives of King Fahd, encouragement of foreign investment has been effectuated through three hubs namely the conclusion of additional agreements with industrialized countries on the protection and security of foreign investment, the continual offer of simplified and regular administrative measures pertaining to issuance of licenses for foreign projects in the Kingdom and the expansion of avenues of the economic offset program to include giant urban projects.

The Crown Prince then reviewed with the cabinet the outcome of the visit of Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz, Second Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Aviation, and Inspector General to France and said the two countries agreed that their views are identical which would enhance cooperation and forge common and balanced understanding in mutual interests of both sides and lay down the pillars for the world peace as well as leading to exchange of the advanced technology and development of the Saudi manpower.

With regard to Qatari-Bahraini relations, the cabinet expressed satisfaction over the decision of the governments of Bahrain and Qatar to re-establish diplomatic relations. Prince Abdallah said the Kingdom has been looking forward to seeing elements of the fraternal love and peace which characterizes the GCC dominate the Qatari-Bahraini relations.

After reviewing the items on its agenda, the cabinet approved the membership of the Saudi Ministry of Posts, Telephones and Telegraphs in the Sky-Way Federation, an affiliate of INMERSATT. The cabinet also endorsed the proposed amendments to the INMERSATT and the operational agreement annexed to it.