Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz today chaired the first meeting of the Supreme Economic Council (SEC). Speaking on the occasion, Crown Prince Abdullah remarked that the world of today is witnessing economic changes and an openness in international markets, to such an extent that a global integrated economic entity is foreseeable. He stated: "We, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, are part of this world. We are influenced by these developments and changes. And we do our best to influence them, and benefit from them."
Crown Prince Abdullah noted that the establishment of the Supreme Economic Council was essential in order to integrate the State's various organs and institutions concerned with the economy, saying: "It is hoped that this council will positively contribute to acceleration of the on-going efforts in the field of economic reform. Intensive efforts need to be exerted in the next stage in the various spheres of activity, and in particular efforts for the realization of financial equilibrium." He went on to note the importance of reducing unnecessary expenditure and looking for new and durable sources of government revenue, taking into account the importance of avoiding any measure that might undermine the basic services being extended to the citizens.
The Crown Prince pointed out that the State is concerned with preparing productive citizens, making available job opportunities, and creating a suitable environment for economic progress. He stated: "The Supreme Economic Council will be assigned the task of activating the national economy, increasing its competitive capability, revising the systems and procedures for meeting the requirements of investment and growth, and making the country an attractive place for the investments both of its citizens and foreigners." He went to elaborate: "The growth of our economy requires the creation of a suitable environment for the private sector to enable it to positively contribute to the process of economic development, investment and management of the investment projects."
The Supreme Economic Council was established by Royal Decree on September 28, 1999, with Crown Prince Abdullah as its Chairman. The Deputy Chairman is Second Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector-General Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz. The other ten members are:
• Minister of State and Cabinet Member Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Khuwaiter;
• Minister of State and Cabinet Member Dr. Muhammad Al-Assheikh;
• Minister of State and Cabinet Member Dr. Mutalb Al-Nafisa;
• The Governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA);
• The Minister of Finance and National Economy;
• The Minister of Planning;
• The Minister of Commerce;
• The Minister of Industry and Electricity;
• The Minister of Labor and Social Affairs;
• The Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources.
Also attending the meeting was the sixteen-member consultative commission consisting of the following experts and professionals:
Dr. Abdulaziz Bin Saleh Al-Jarbooa; Isa Bin Muhammad Al-Isa; Abdullah Bin Ahmed Yousuf Zeinel; Dr. Khalil Bin Abdulfattah Kurdi; Khalid Bin Abdullah Al-Zamil; Dr. Majed Bin Abdullah Al-Muneef; Dr. Faisal Bin Sufooq Al-Bashir; Dr. Khalid Bin Mohammed Al-Fayes; Dr. Majed Bin Abdullah Al-Qasbi; Dr. Mohammed Bin Abdulaziz Al-Sahlawi; Dr. Abdulaziz Bin Hama Al-Fahd; Dr. Adel Bin Ahmed Bashnaq; Dr. Mohammed Faraj Al-Khatarawi; Mohammed Bin Abdullah Bin Odwan; Dr. Mohammed Salem Saroor Al-Sabban; and Ahmed Bin Nasser Al-Sweidan.