Riyadh, January 29, 2008 - H.E.
Abdullah M. N. Rehaimi, President of Saudi Arabia’s General Authority
of Civil Aviation, and Lars Thunell, Executive Vice President and CEO of
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today signed an advisory agreement
to help mobilize private investment for sustainable, commercially oriented
developments around three major airports. These include the King
Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, the King Khaled International
Airport in Riyadh, and the King Fahad International Airport in Dammam.
The projects aim to develop “airport cities” under private sector participation
schemes. This will help the airports make better use of the assets within
their boundaries, improving operations and creating jobs while helping
GACA achieve financial sustainability.
GACA’s President Rehaimi said, “We are confident that this renewed relationship
with IFC will help us pursue our mission to deregulate the country’s air
transport sector and stimulate aviation activities in Saudi Arabia.”
Thunell added, “IFC is helping Saudi Arabia to diversify its economy by
increasing private sector participation and by developing its airports
into economic hubs for the country."
Last year IFC helped the General Authority of Civil Aviation structure
its first two public-private partnership transactions: the concession for
the Hajj Terminal and the tender for a desalination plant, both at the
King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah. The expansion of the terminal
is being completed and should be ready in time for the next Hajj. The
desalination project will upgrade systems and supply an initial 30,000
cubic meters of potable water a day to the airport.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth
in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing
private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing
advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC’s
vision is that poor people have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve
their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized an additional
$3.9 billion through syndications and structured finance for 299 investments
in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries.
For more information, visit www.ifc.org.