Saudi Arabia: Government illustrates initial privatisation plan details
The privatisation plan drafted by the Government of Saudi Arabia is being launched. The Ministry of Economy and Planning has released the first synthetic texts pinpointing the public bodies to be prioritised for privatisation in view of the Private Sector Participation Program. The first public companies to be privatised are Saudi Electricity Company, Saline Water Conversion Corporation, National Water Company, General Authority of Civil Aviation (which runs the kingdom’s airports to be privatised), Saudi Airlines, Saudi Railway Organization, Saudi Ports Authority, Grain Silos and Flour Milling Organization, Saudi Posts and the King Faisal Hospital & Research Center (the major university hospital in the country). Besides these, the Ministry of Economy has also highlighted other minor projects such as the waste management services in some cities, the development of the raw material processing and manufacturing industry in the industrial city of Ras al Khair, and the opening of the entire professional training sector to private stakeholders. In the meantime, Saudi authorities are fine-tuning diverse measures indispensable for privatisation procedures, such as the establishment of the National Privatization Centre within the Ministry of Economy and Planning. There are also several measures to adjust the legal structure of public companies to be privatised, including budgeting and accounting laws, personnel management, and the standards for stock quotations.