Saudi rules out foreign investment in telecoms
Saudi Arabia will exclude its oil production, broadcasting, land and air transport, and telecommunications sectors from foreign investment, the official SPA news agency reported Monday, February 12.
The Supreme Economic Council made the ruling at a meeting Sunday presided over by Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, SPA said.
Also ruled out of foreign investment were industries manufacturing military and explosive equipment, property ownership in Islam's holiest cities, Mecca and Medina, and tourist activities linked to the annual Muslim pilgrimage, or hajj.
Saudi Arabia has since last year announced a package of legal reforms to encourage foreign investment and diversify sources of revenue. The reforms will allow foreign investors to 100-percent own industrial companies and property and amend the system of local sponsorship for foreigners doing business in Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter and producer.
Saudi Arabia has also launched a $100 billion gas initiative to attract foreign oil companies for around 25 energy projects covering gas field development, oil refining and power generation in the kingdom. — (AFP, Riyadh)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)