Investors look to Netherlands to develop Aquaculture Industry in Saudi Arabia

Business opportunities for Dutch aquaculture organizations to profit from Saudi Arabia (KSA) plans to scale up local aquaculture production are expanding and getting closer.

Increasing its production from 75K tons currently yo reach 100k tons by 2020 and 600K (i.e. 70% of the seafood market) by 2030 is one of the objectives that KSA is pursuing as part of its efforts to achieve more food security and reduce the gap between imported and locally produced food.

Dutch aquaculture expertise is on the radar of the Saudi aquaculture stakeholders. This Week a group of Saudi investors is visiting NL to have a closer look at the experience of NL in aquaculture and what the Dutch aquaculture enterprises can offer. The aim of visit is to establish business relations with Dutch agribusiness specialized in providing Know-how technology, equipment, and materials for projects to develop a modern, sustainable and profitable aquaculture industry in Saudi Arabia (KSA),

Visit of Saudi investors to the Netherlands

The group is interested in scoping the opportunities to recruit Dutch expertise in fish farm engineering, feed and breeding towards the goal of building  productive inland freshwater fish farms - with special focus on the recirculation aquaculture system (RAS). Fish processing equipment and systems are also main topic on the program of visit, as KSA is planning to build modern fish processing plants and efficient fish product supply chain. Cooperation on aquaponics technology –which is increasingly gaining attention in KSA- will be discussed with WUR during the visit.

Visit of Saudi investors to the Netherlands

The Agricultural Team of the Netherlands Embassy in Riyadh has organized the visit and developed the program which extend over 4 day, 2-5 December 2019, in collaboration with the Saudi Ministry of Agriculture’s (MEWA) Department of Fisheries, the Saudi National Fisheries Development Program (NFDP), and Saudi Aquaculture Society (SAS).

MEWA oversee NFDP’s strategy to develop the Saudi aquaculture sector and has set a budget of SAR 1.3 billion (about 310 million EURO) to unlock the sector for the private investors by investing in infrastructure, R&D and marketing campaigns. MEWA offers the investors as well incentive programs through the Agricultural Development Fund and the Industrial Development Fund.

Seeing prospects in connecting between the Dutch aquaculture organizations and Saudi quest to develop the local aquaculture sector, The Agricultural Team of the Netherlands Embassy in Riyadh (LAN-RIY) has been developing the cooperation on aquaculture with MEWA, SAS and NFDP since the beginning of this year. Before this visit, LAN-RIY organized a Workshop ‘Opportunities for Fresh Water Aquaculture in mainland KSA’ in May, and sponsor a Dutch Pavilion at the Saudi Aquaculture Exhibition in October with the participation of several companies from NL.

As it was impossible to set a date for the visit that would be suitable for all parties, many investors who are interested in discussing business opportunities  with the Dutch agribusiness, but couldn’t manage to join the visit, have asked LAN-RIY and NFDP to keep them posted on the visit and its outcomes.

The visit is receiving good publicity through NFDP Twitter account and Saudi Press Agency. (available only in Arabic)