Alkhorayef meets Korean company executives to boost industrial ties 

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RIYADH: Investments in the aquaculture sector between Saudi Arabia and China are poised for growth, with discussions taking place at the Global Investment Promotion Conference in Shenzhen, China.  

Representatives from Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Environment, Water, and Agriculture engaged with over 60 specialized Chinese firms to explore and expand opportunities, the Saudi Press Agency reported.     

The forum aimed to showcase investment prospects in Saudi Arabia’s aquaculture sector, foster expertise exchange, and facilitate private sector involvement in leveraging growth opportunities.  

The National Fisheries Development Program, represented by the ministry’s delegation, played a key role in these discussions. 

Established in 2015, the fishery program seeks to draw $5 billion in investment from the private sector by the end of the decade.  

Central to this initiative is the National Aquaculture Group, also known as Naqua, the largest firm in the Middle East’s aquaculture industry. 

The program, focused on expanding aquaculture, aims to create new jobs, with half of them allocated for Saudi nationals.  

This expansion is expected to significantly increase the volume of seafood available for export, contributing to economic growth and job creation. 

“Aquaculture is one of the fastest-growing areas in the food sector. Worldwide, it’s growing 6 percent per year. This contributes to food security, job creation and rural development — and it’s sustainable in terms of the environment and climate change,” NFPD CEO Ali Al-Shaikhi told Arab News in 2022.  

Al-Shaikhi said at the time: “Aquaculture is one of the key elements that will improve the quality of life in many countries, and of course, we want this to happen in Saudi Arabia.”   

He added: “We are focused on job creation, protecting the local markets and improving and promoting our seafood industry.” 

Saudi Arabia, as part of its Vision 2030 master plan to diversify the economy, aims to produce 600,000 tons of fish annually, generating around 200,000 direct and indirect jobs in the fisheries sector. The collaboration with China signifies a strategic move to boost the aquaculture sector and enhance economic cooperation between the two nations. 

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