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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: Irish businesses visiting the Kingdom this week have been discussing Irish-Saudi trade that is worth over $1bn a year, as well as potential new investment opportunities for them here in food, agriculture, and financial technology.
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 Ministry of Investment, the Ministry of Tourism, the Agricultural Development Fund and King Salman Energy Park, participated in the meeting, which was chaired by Usamah Al-Kurdi, member of 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 security 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 favor 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 SAR33 million ($8.8 million), while the volume of Irish exports to Saudi Arabia amounted to SAR4.25 billion ($ 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 mega projects and investment opportunities here.
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.
Director of Agricultural Investments Abroad in the Agricultural Development Fund, Sattam Al-Mazyad, reviewed promising sectors for investment here, including greenhouses, poultry, fish farming, and finance related to agriculture.
Reem Shaya Al-Qahtani, Business Development Analyst at King Salman Energy Park (SPARK), gave a visual presentation on SPARK, 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.
SPARK also provides world-class infrastructure for international investors in the oil and gas, refining, petrochemical, electricity and water production and treatment sectors.
Princess Al-Anoud bint Bandar Al Saud, a strategic advisor 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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