The government in 1999 announced plans to begin privatizing the electricity companies, which follows the ongoing privatization of the telecommunications company.
The government is expected to continue calling for private sector growth to lessen the kingdom's dependence on oil and increase employment opportunities for the swelling Saudi population.
Shortages of water and rapid population growth will constrain government efforts to increase self-sufficiency in agricultural products.
Unemployment among young Saudis is a serious problem.
The Saudi family were sheikhs of Nejd, the area around Riyadh, but were driven out by a neighboring dynasty, hiding with their relatives, the emirs of Kuwait.