2000 News Story

Planning minister comments on privatization projects

In an address to a business forum in Switzerland on Thursday, Minister of Planning Khaled Al-Gosaibi reported on the Kingdom's progress toward privatizing its telecommunications and electricity sectors. The new Saudi Telecommunications Company (STC), he said, is now operating on a commercial basis, with major expansion and upgrading programs under implementation. Saudi Arabia, he declared, wants to establish a world-class information technology infrastructure, and is in process of setting up an independent telecommunications regulatory authority and preparing a telecommunications law, the draft of which is currently under review by the Supreme Economic Council (SEC). He added that the Kingdom has also moved towards the creation of a competitive electricity sector open to private investment by merging the regional companies into one national entity, the Saudi Electric Company, which became operational this year. The next step will be the separation of power generation from its transmission and distribution.