US still wants to organize a summit of Gulf leaders: Senior administration official

President Donald Trump and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman shaking hands in the State Dining Room before lunch at the White House in Washington, DC. (File Photo: AFP)
Updated 20 March 2018
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US still wants to organize a summit of Gulf leaders: Senior administration official

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump believes unity among Gulf states in the Middle East is critical and still wants to organize a meeting of Gulf leaders, who are divided by a dispute involving Qatar, a senior administration official said on Monday.
The official, briefing reporters before Trump’s meeting on Tuesday with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, said Trump had wanted Qatar and Gulf Cooperation Council members to settle their dispute on their own but is now much more concerned about the long-term impact in the region.
The official also said Trump and top aides would seek more commercial deals for US companies.
“While the crown prince is in Washington, we will be advocating for $35 billion in commercial deals for US companies that would support 120,000 American jobs,” the official said.


Green light for crown prince-led Saudi privatization program

Updated 25 April 2018
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Green light for crown prince-led Saudi privatization program

  • The Privatization Program is one of 12 key elements of the Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030
  • The program is aimed at increasing job opportunities for Saudi nationals

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Council of Economic and Development Affairs on Tuesday approved the Privatization Program that is one of 12 key elements of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. 

The program is aimed at increasing job opportunities for Saudi nationals, attracting the latest technologies and innovations, and supporting economic development.

It encourages both local and foreign investment in order to enhance the role of the private sector, with government entities adopting a regulatory and supervisory role. The aim is to increase the private sector’s contribution to GDP from 40 percent to 65 percent by 2030. 

The program will aim to reach its objectives through encouraging the private sector to invest in establishing new schools, universities and health centers, while the government pursues its organizational and supervisory role in health and education.

The privatization program aims to benefit from previous success stories, with the private sector’s collaboration in the development of infrastructure, and its involvement on a large scale in sectors such as energy, water, transport, telecommunications, petrochemicals and finance.

The program sets out a series of objectives in three areas: Developing a general legal framework for policies related to privatization; establishing organizational foundations and dedicated institutions to execute the policies; and setting a timescale for their delivery. 

The Council of Economic and Development Affairs is headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.