1999 News Story

Council of Ministers meeting

Deputy Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Crown Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz today

presided over the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers, which discussed

yesterday's announcement by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz of

the establishment of a Higher Economic Council, within the framework of developing the

national economy and supporting it in various fields. Crown Prince Abdullah remarked that

King Fahd's concern has always been to draw up economic policies that focus on building a

firm and effective national economy accommodating new developments and adapting to domestic

and international changes. He stated that the Kingdom's distinguished status in world

economics was due to its economic policy based on the concepts of free enterprise and an

open market for investment, production, and services. Saudi Arabia's aim is to realize

steady economic growth for the security, welfare and prosperity of all citizens while

preserving Islamic values, maintaining the country's natural resources, providing job

opportunities for young Saudis, and encouraging greater capital investment in the national

economy in support of the government's program for privatization.

The cabinet then reviewed the recent tripartite meeting in Caracas of the oil ministers of

Mexico, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. Noting that the meeting underlined the importance of

continuing to comply with the production cuts agreed upon, the cabinet reiterated the

Kingdom's concern for stability in the oil market, and emphasized that this can only be

realized with full adherence to the agreement previously concluded among oil producers,

both OPEC and non-OPEC, for the benefit of producers and consumers alike.
Reviewing the latest developments at Arab, Islamic and international levels, the cabinet

reiterated its support for any effort towards the realization of peace and stability and

the security of peoples and countries everywhere in the world, and denounced the recent

explosion in Sanaa, calling it a subversive act that could not have been committed by

anyone interested in the good of the people and government of the Republic of Yemen.
Turning to domestic matters, the cabinet passed a resolution amending the Manpower Council.

The council's composition is now the interior minister as chairman, and as members, the

ministers of civil service, higher education, commerce, industry and electricity,

education, finance and national economy, planning, labor and social affairs, plus the

chairmen of the boards of directors of the chambers of commerce in Riyadh, Jeddah and

Dammam. In addition, the Council may assign any other government official to attend its

meetings, seek the help of experts and professionals with the chairman's approval, and form

a preparatory committee within its secretariat general to conduct studies on the positive

and negative impacts on the labor market whenever decisions were made.
The cabinet also authorized the Minister of Finance and National Economy or his deputy to

sign the agreement to establish a duty-free trade zone between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

and the Arab Republic of Egypt.