ARAR — The Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture Eng. Abdulrahman Al-Fadhli confirmed that the value of water projects in Saudi Arabia exceeded SR150 billion within 8 years, of which, environmental and development projects were launched in the Northern Border region amounted to approximately SR2 billion.

Al-Fadhli made the remarks while participating in the Northern Border Investment Forum 2023, which was inaugurated in Arar by Prince Faisal Bin Khalid, governor of the Northern Borders Region.

He confirmed the completion of the legislative structure for the sectors of the environmental system in Saudi Arabia.

The environmental system is targeting to recycle waste in Saudi Arabia by 95% in 2035 instead of wasting it in landfills, he said.

The minister indicated that sustainable development is considered as a priority for Saudi Arabia, and this appears clearly in the Kingdom's Vision 2030.

“There are incentives for investment in the environmental sectors, in addition to promising investment opportunities in the Northern Border region.”

He added that the promising investment opportunities in Saudi Arabia in general, and the Northern Border region in particular, are more than what businessmen expect.

The current opportunities are not necessarily an extension of past investment opportunities, Al-Fadhli said, noting that they require businessmen with different thinking.

"The agricultural sector plays an important role in development in the northern border region,” he noted.

During his speech, the minister highlighted the success of the environmental system in transforming potentials into huge investment opportunities in the agricultural sector in Saudi Arabia, as well as accomplishing great achievements in the effective management of water resources.

These accomplishments led to achieving a record agricultural production worth SR100 billion in 2022, he said.

He also highlighted the benefit of advanced technologies to support agriculture, which contributed to reducing agricultural consumption from 86% to less than 70%.

Al-Fadhli praised the Saudi Sustainable Agricultural Rural Development Program (Reef) as a unique model that supports rural areas with generous funding from the Kingdom’s leadership amounting to SR8.5 billion.

The minister stated that the Northern Border region has promising investment opportunities, such as opportunities in the field of poultry projects 2030, as well as 3 projects in the field of livestock and poultry at a cost of SR300 million, funded by the Agricultural Development Fund (ADF).

The projects also include the Saudi Borders Project, on an area estimated at 80 km2, to establish more than 350 barns with the aim of reaching the production of one million and 200 thousand chicks per day.

As for the financial and technical incentives provided by the environment system to investors, Al-Fadhli confirmed that the ADF contributes an effective role in facilitating financing for projects, as the total loans jumped from SR455 million in 2016 to SR7 billion in 2022.

Total loans to the Northern Border region amounted to SR233 million until 2022, he added.

The environmental system also facilitated financing through commercial banks in Saudi Arabia, Al-Fadhli said, indicating that the Ministry's various sectors provided technical support to investors through field visits, as well as facilitating the necessary licensing procedures in coordination with the concerned authorities.

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