Irish firms eye energy, food, fintech investments in Saudi Arabia
RIYADH: Irish businesses visiting the kingdom this week have been discussing Irish-Saudi trade worth over $1 billion/annum, as well as potential new investment opportunities in food, agriculture, and financial technology, Arab News reported.
A trade delegation was briefed on Tuesday at the headquarters of the Federation of Saudi Chambers of Commerce on investment opportunities that are underpinned by the objectives of Vision 2030.
The ministries of investment and tourism, the Agricultural Development Fund, and King Salman Energy Park participated in the meeting, which was chaired by Usamah Al-Kurdi, member of the Ireland Saudi Arabia Business Council (ISABC) from the Saudi side, and Joseph Lynch, chairman of the ISABC, from the Irish side.
Al-Kurdi praised the commercial and economic relations between the two countries and said that the Irish delegation includes successful Irish companies in the agricultural and food sectors.
The participants discussed the opening of markets and the transfer of expertise and technology.
Al-Kurdi pointed out that the volume of trade is large and tends to favour Ireland. The kingdom needs to do more to develop its exports to Ireland and restore the trade balance between the two friendly countries.
In 2019, the volume of Saudi exports to Ireland amounted to just SR33 million ($8.8 million), while the volume of Irish exports to Saudi Arabia amounted to SA4.25 billion ($1.13 billion).
Lynch stressed the visit’s importance after the gradual recovery that the world has witnessed after the Covid-19 pandemic. He noted that the delegation’s trip to the kingdom will review the most prominent megaprojects and investment opportunities.
The director of strategic partnerships at the Ministry of Investment, Sarah Al-Hogail, reviewed the kingdom’s achievements in terms of continuous growth in attracting foreign investments.
The director of agricultural investments abroad in the Agricultural Development Fund, Sattam Al-Mazyad, set out promising sectors for investment in the kingdom, including greenhouses, poultry, fish farming, and finance related to agriculture.
Reem Shaya Al-Qahtani, business development analyst at King Salman Energy Park, gave a visual presentation on the project, which is an integrated industrial ecosystem, extending over an area of 50 square kilometers and being developed to become the leading gateway to the regional energy sector.
Princess Al-Anoud bint Bandar, a strategic adviser on tourism investments at the Ministry of Tourism, gave a presentation on the national strategy for tourism, the map of tourist sites, and investment opportunities in the tourism sector here.
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