In a speech yesterday in Madinah Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz highlighted the Kingdom's policy of privatization as a strategic choice for a strong economy to meet the needs of the people. He went on to say that expansion of the economic base, diversification of income sources, and the participation of the private sector in the development process require improvement in local investment; consequently, all obstacles to this should be removed. A new taxation system for foreign investors will therefore soon be put into effect.
One aspect of this, he said, was a reconsideration of the system of sponsorship. This needs to be flexible, while safeguarding the rights of all parties. For example, ownership of real estate by non-Saudis is necessary in order to meet the aspirations of the domestic market and activate the process of supply and demand.
Crown Prince Abdullah reiterated that no issue of interest to the country and its people will be left without discussion, saying: "We seek our country's interests in accordance with our creed, our values, and our morals."
Concluding his speech, Crown Prince Abdullah thanked the people of Madinah for their hospitality and conveyed to them greetings from Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz. The Crown Prince, together with Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz and other guests, then participated in the traditional ardha dance. Crown Prince Abdullah is in Madinah to open a number of development projects.