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CROWN PRINCE ABDULLAH MEETS GERMAN BUSINESSMEN
 BERLIN 7th Jun 2001

   CROWN PRINCE ABDULLAH BIN ABDULAZIZ, DEPUTY PREMIER AND COMMANDER OF THE NATIONAL GUARD, CURRENTLY ON A STATE VISIT TO THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY, TODAY CALLED UPON GERMAN BUSINESSMEN AND COMPANIES TO INCREASE THE VOLUME OF GERMAN INVESTMENTS IN THE KINGDOM.

ADDRESSING A MEETING OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE SAUDI GERMAN BUSINESSMEN DIALOGUE, AN AFFILIATE OF THE SAUDI GERMAN JOINT COMMISSION, CROWN PRINCE ABDULLAH SAID 'DESPITE THE FACT THAT GERMANY WAS A MAJOR TRADE PARTNER OF SAUDI ARABIA, THE SIZE OF GERMAN INVESTMENTS WERE BELOW THE REQUIRED LEVEL'.

HOWEVER, CROWN PRINCE ABDULLAH EXPRESSED SATISFACTION OF THE LEVEL OF GENERAL RELATIONS WITH GERMANY.

'DURING OUR TALKS WITH GERMAN OFFICIALS, WE FELT A JOINT DESIRE TO UPGRADE THE RELATIONS TO FURTHER SATISFACTORY LEVEL', HE TOLD THE GATHERING.


CROWN PRINCE ABDULLAH ALSO TOLD THE FORUM, HELD AT THE CENTER OF GERMAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY IN BERLIN, THAT SAUDI ARABIA HAS GIVEN FIRM UNDERTAKING TOWARDS THE WORLD ECONOMY.

'TO THIS END, WE HAVE SOUGHT WITH THE OIL PRODUCING COUNTRIES TO REALIZE AN EQUILIBRIUM OF OIL MARKET AND STABILIZATION OF PRICES AT LEVELS ACCEPTABLE TO BOTH PRODUCERS AND CONSUMERS.', HE SAID.

CROWN PRINCE ABDULLAH REQUESTED GERMANY TO SUPPORT SAUDI ARABIA'S PROPOSAL TO ESTABLISH A PERMANENT SECRETARIAT GENERAL OF THE DIALOGUE BETWEEN OIL PRODUCERS AND CONSUMERS SUBMITTED AT THE I7TH INTERNATIONAL ENERGY FORUM , RECENTLY HELD IN RIYADH.

HE REITERATED THAT SAUDI ARABIA WAS READY TO HOST THE PROPOSED ORGANIZATION.

'WE ARE ALSO LOOKING FORWARD THAT OIL CONSUMERS RECONSIDER HIGH TAXES THEY ARE IMPOSING ON OIL AND ITS BI-PRODUCTS FOR THE SUPPORT OF OIL MARKET EQUILIBRIUM AND STABILITY OF PRICES', PRINCE ABDULLAH SAID.

CROWN PRINCE ABDULLAH EXPRESSED PRIDE THAT THE SAUDI ECONOMY OCCUPIES THE FIRST PLACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST.

'THE KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA HAS MOBILIZED ITS OIL WEALTH TO THE INTEREST OF ITS PEOPLE. IT HAS GENEROUSLY SPENT THE MONEY ON DEVELOPMENT AND INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS ENABLING ITS ECONOMY , PARTICULARLY THE PRIVATE SECTOR , TO MAKE GREAT STRIDES', HE SAID.

HE TOLD THE GERMAN BUSINESSMEN THAT SAUDI PLANNERS WERE NOT CONTENT WITH THE IMPRESSIVE ACCOMPLISHMENTS TO IMPROVE THE OPPORTUNITIES OF GROWTH FOR THE ECONOMY. EMANATING FROM THIS, WE PRESENTED INITIATIVES TO ADOPT A COMPREHENSIVE PROGRAM FOR ECONOMIC REFORMS, INCLUDING THE REFORMS OF THE GOVERNMENTAL PERFORMANCE TO INCREASE ITS PRODUCTIVITY AND LEGALIZE THE ROLE OF THE STATE IN THE ECONOMY SO THAT THE GOVERNMENT TRANSFERS FROM A DIRECT PARTNER OF PRODUCTION TO A SUPERVISOR AND GIVES THIS CHANCE TO THE PRIVATE SECTOR', HE ADDED.

PRINCE ABDULLAH SAID THAT THE REFORMS PROGRAM ALSO INCLUDES THE MODERNIZATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF REGULATIONS, INCLUDING THE FOREIGN INVESTMENT LAWS ENACTING THE GENERAL INVESTMENT AUTHORITY TO UNDERTAKE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THIS JOB.

MOREOVER, THE KINGDOM ESTABLISHED THE SUPREME ECONOMIC COUNCIL: THE SUPREME COUNCIL FOR OIL AND MINERALS AFFAIRS: AND GENERAL TOURISM AUTHORITY, TO ASSUME THE DEVELOPMENT OF THOSE IMPORTANT ECONOMIC SECTORS, HE SAID.

PRINCE ABDULLAH STATED THAT THOSE EFFORTS YIELDED GOOD FRUITS TO THE ECONOMY.

'ACCORDINGLY, THE SAUDI ECONOMIC GROWTH LAST YEAR STOOD AT MORE THAN 21 PERCENT AT THE CURRENT RATES AND 4.5 PERCENT AT THE FIXED RATES, BOTH CONSIDERED AS INTERNATIONALLY HIGH RATES', HE SAID AND ADDED THAT HE EXPECTED THAT THIS IMPROVEMENT WOULD CONTINUE IN FUTURE.

HE TOLD THE MEETING THAT THE KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA HAS, TWO YEARS AGO, INVITED INTERNATIONAL OIL COMPANIES FOR INVESTMENT IN THE SECTOR OF GAS TO COVER BOTH GAS PRODUCTION AND POST-PRODUCTION STAGES.

WE RECEIVED GOOD RESPONSE FROM THEM, HE SAID ADDING THAT THE KINGDOM HAS REACHED PRELIMINARY AGREEMENTS WITH SOME OF THEM, ACCORDING TO WHICH THEY WOULD ENVISAGE GAS-RELATED INVESTMENT PROJECTS.

HE EXPRESSED BELIEF THAT THE PARTICIPATION OF THESE COMPANIES IN DEVELOPING THE SECTOR OF GAS IN THE KINGDOM WOULD HAVE CONSIDERABLE POSITIVE IMPACT ON THE GROWTH OF THE SAUDI ECONOMY, THE PROFITABILITY OF THESE COMPANIES, THE CREATION OF JOB OPPORTUNITIES FOR SAUDI NATIONALS AND THE PROVISION OF VITAL SERVICES LIKE WATER AND ELECTRICITY AT REASONABLE QUANTITIES AND PRICES.

AGAIN, CROWN PRINCE ABDULLAH SAID HE AVAILS HIMSELF OF THIS OPPORTUNITY TO INVITE 'GERMAN BUSINESSMEN WHO ARE INTERESTED IN FOREIGN INVESTMENT TO CLOSELY GET ACQUAINTED TO THE INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN THE KINGDOM'.

ON HIS PART, THE GERMAN MINISTER OF ECONOMICS AND TECHNOLOGY CONSIDERED CROWN PRINCE ABDULLAH'S CURRENT VISIT TO GERMANY AS THE LAUNCH OF A NEW ERA OF CLOSE COOPERATION BETWEEN THE KINGDOM AND GERMANY.

HE CITED THE ECONOMIC, TECHNICAL AND TECHNOLOGICAL FIELDS AS AREAS OF TRADITIONAL COOPERATION BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES.

HE DREW ATTENTION TO THE IMPORTANCE OF THE ADMINISTRATION OFTHE SAUDI GERMAN BUSINESSMEN DIALOGUE COUNCIL IN INCREASING THE ECONOMIC COOPERATION BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES.

HE PRAISED THE SETTING UP OF THE GENERAL INVESTMENT AUTHORITY IN THE KINGDOM WITHIN STRENUOUS GOVERNMENTAL EFFORTS TO MAKE ECONOMIC LAWS REFORMS.


Source: SPA©

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