The Arab Authority for Agricultural Investment and Development (AAAID), in collaboration with the National Fisheries Development Program, and the Saudi Aquaculture Society organized the Saudi Investment Forum for Aquaculture, which was held under the "Invest Saudi" initiative on 8 April 2019 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
During the forum, H.E Mohammed bin Obaid Al Mazrooei, President of AAAID, gave a speech in which he explained that one of the main reasons for the broadening of the food gap in commodities, estimated at USD 34 billion by the end of 2017, is due to not giving the agricultural sector the appropriate significance with its role in development, especially the fisheries sector. Pointing out that Arab countries have all the potential to reduce the size of the food gap significantly through the integration of the utilization of agricultural resources, financial and human resources and scientific capabilities available in Arab countries. His Excellency also expressed that the future forecasts indicate a worsening deficit in the production of red meat in the Arab world, which increases the need to expand fish production to cover human needs of animal protein and to meet the high demand due to a growing population.
H.E Al Mazrooei stated, “Through this forum we are keen to highlight the results achieved in driving the growth of the aquaculture sector and the initiatives that fall within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s 2030 vision to promote this industry, especially as aquaculture will be the main source of seafood supply in Saudi Arabia and the neighboring region, with growth in capture fisheries and stringent safety rules on imports.”
During the forum, a series of completed investment opportunity portfolios were presented, in addition to holding specialized dialogue sessions in the field of aquaculture and the allocation of work meetings between investors and participants. This is in addition to the opportunity for Saudi investors to meet with their counterparts from Gulf and Arab investors and foreign investors and the participation of a number of Arab and international investment funds, banks, financial institutions, business leaders and companies specializing in aquaculture.
It is worth mentioning that the forum aims to share best practices, experiments and experiences in the aquaculture sector among investors and to introduce fish farming and different aquaculture projects, as the consumption of seafood in the Kingdom is expected to increase by 8% annually until 2030.