Saudi to localise 85% of food industry

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Saudi aims to raise its fish production by 500 percent and its exports to 3 billion Saudi riyals ($800 million), and the date exports to 2.5 billion riyals by 2025, reports Asian Lite Newsdesk

Saudi Arabia announced on Wednesday its plan to localise 85 percent of its food industry by 2030, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The country aims to raise its fish production by 500 percent and its exports to 3 billion Saudi riyals (800 million U.S. dollars), and the date exports to 2.5 billion riyals by 2025, said Ali Al-Sabhan, supervisor general of the Entrepreneurship Department at the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, at the Gulf Entrepreneurs Forum held in the capital Riyadh.

The annual food import now costs Saudi Arabia 70 billion riyals, which means huge investment potential in localising the food industry, according to Al-Sabhan.

The forum, targeting entrepreneurs, business incubators, and financing institutions in the Gulf region, seeks to boost investment and financing opportunities and to enhance economic growth through innovation.

Al-Sabhan added that the ministry is adopting a strategy to develop innovation and entrepreneurship which will eventually contribute to enhancing the competitiveness and sustainability of the environment, water and agricultural sectors in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

He also stated that the ministry is working on developing pioneering projects and activating local and international strategic partnerships, calling on entrepreneurs to take advantage of the various programs offered by the ministry.

National Industry Strategy

Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on Tuesday launched the National Industry Strategy that aims to turn the kingdom into a leading industrial power.

The strategy covers 12 sub-sectors, with more than 800 investment opportunities worth 1 trillion Saudi riyals (226 billion U.S. dollars), the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The investments will contribute to the sector’s sustainable development to achieve economic revenues, including doubling the industrial GDP by three-fold and raising the industrial exports to 557 billion Saudi riyals, it said.

Crown Prince Mohammed highlighted the kingdom’s potential to reach a competitive and sustainable industrial economy, including talented youth, geographic location, natural resources and national pioneer companies.

He said that, through the strategy and the partnership with the private sector, the kingdom would become a leading industrial power.

The previous years’ efforts to promote the sector, including the launch of the National Industry Development Program, have increased the number of factories from 7,206 to 10,640, the SPA reported.

The strategy looks forward to increasing the number of the factories to 36,000 by 2035, it added.

GCC hails initiatives

The Ministers of Industry of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) for Arab Countries have reviewed the features of the national strategy for industry.

This came on the sidelines of the meetings of the GCC’s Commercial Cooperation and Industrial Cooperation Committees.

They praised the initiative of the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources represented by “Factories of the Future” initiative and the accompanying exhibition, as well as the National Strategy for Industry and its future vision that achieves GCC’s industrial integration, enhances the uses of technology for optimal utilization of resources and increase efficiency and productivity, which contribute to achieving the directives and aspirations of the GCC leaders.

GCC Secretary-General Dr. Naif Falah Mubarak Al-Hajraf, praised the Kingdom’s efforts to launch the Future Factories Program, which provides many development mechanisms that benefit from all licensed factories in the Kingdom at different levels of technical development, which leads to providing the greatest possible capabilities so as to raise the competitiveness of the industrial sector and find alternative solutions to reduce the sector’s dependence on unskilled labor, congratulating the Kingdom’s launch of the National Strategy for Industry, which represents an important lever for the Gulf industry sector, appreciating its contents of promising targets and sectors, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

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