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Al-Jadaan: New law set to accelerate privatization of 16 govt sectors
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 17 - 03 - 2021

RIYADH — Minister of Finance and Acting Minister of Economy and Planning Muhammad Al-Jadaan said that the approval of the Privatization Law by the Council of Ministers on Tuesday will accelerate the privatization of as many as 16 government sectors and that is in line with achieving the goals of the Kingdom's Vision 2030.
"Opening up of these sectors to local and international companies will be instrumental in improving the balance of payments and increasing the private sector's contribution to GDP from 40 percent to 65 percent," he said.
In a statement to the Saudi Press Agency, Al-Jadaan, who is also chairman of the Privatization Program Committee and chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Center for Privatization (NCP), said that the Kingdom's Vision 2030 aims to pump more investments into the national economy, creating attractive investment opportunities for the private sector and increasing its contribution to the GDP so as to enhance the sustainability of the Kingdom's economy.
The minister said that the Privatization Law aims to create an environment that allows raising the volume and level of services provided to citizens and expatriates and to establish the necessary flexibility in the regulatory and investment environment for privatization projects in the Kingdom, in a way that supports and enhances the implementation of these projects within an attractive and stimulating regulatory and investment environment for short and long term investments.
According to Al-Jadaan, the new law will enhance the participation of the private sector in economic growth and make available procedures related to privatization projects and facilitate these opportunities in a transparent and fair manner. There will be the integrity of procedures related to contracts, raising the level of comprehensiveness and quality of services, and efficiency of assets related to privatization projects.
The minister said the law will contribute to spurring economic growth by supporting the launch of privatization initiatives and projects and partnerships between the public and private sectors in front of local and international investors, and that is with the support of NCP.
Al-Jadaan noted that NCP is the competent authority to implement the Privatization Law in cooperation and coordination with the target sectors and the supervisory committees for these sectors. "The law is expected to support the efforts of the privatization system in achieving the goals of the Vision 2030, which will contribute to providing innovative solutions to the local economy and the state's budget, and the ability to transform in attracting local and international investments that will contribute to creating job opportunities for citizens," he added.
On his part, Eng. Rayan Naqadi, CEO of NCP, said that the modification of the Privatization Law aimed to raise the contribution of the private sector in government projects, as it aims to enable the distribution of responsibilities and risks between the government and the private sector, reduce the government's capital budget, and organize all activities and procedures related to implementing privatization projects.
Sultan Al-Qahtani, deputy CEO for legal and regulatory affairs at NCP, said that the objectives of the Privatization Law include expanding the number of privatization projects implemented in the Kingdom, stimulating the private sector, and creating an investment environment that enables local and international investors to participate in the proposed privatization opportunities. It will also raise the level of efficiency of assets related to privatization projects, and improve the level of their management.
The law provides a wide range of regulatory controls that enhance investor confidence in the process of launching privatization projects, confirm the enforcement of privatization contracts, and ensure that the financial obligations arising from privatization contracts are addressed in the state's general budget in the long run.
The Privatization Law also allows dealing with the special challenges facing privatization projects in the Kingdom. It is noteworthy that NCP is one of the executive programs launched by the Council of Economic and Development Affairs. It was set up as the backbone of the Kingdom's Saudization program and is working on a package of initiatives and projects aimed at achieving the Kingdom's Vision 2030.

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