RIYADH: The European-Saudi Trade Forum for Investors in the Camel Sector was held on Monday in Riyadh, with seven companies from Belgium specializing in health, events and horses presenting their investment capabilities and opportunities.

The forum, organized by the Camel Club in Saudi Arabia, included Saudi businessmen, affiliates of the Chambers of Commerce and local camel owners. It focused on work, cooperation, project creation and the exchange of experiences within the framework of the official economic and trade mission to Saudi Arabia organized by Belgium and Luxembourg province.

The forum aims to develop partnerships between the Belgian and Saudi private sectors in various activities related to camels, which will be reflected in the development of the sector.

Fahad bin Hathleen, chairman of the board of directors of the Camel Club and International Camel Organization, said that the camel sector is “growing rapidly.” He added that the sector is achieving turnout rates in conjunction with the regulations and legislation enacted by the club in the areas of breed documentation, name ownership, species safety and veterinary regulations.

Bin Hathleen said that more than 2000 camel owners took part in the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival, leading to a 30 percent increase in buying and selling operations over previous years.

The fields of investment in the forum vary between training, marketing, building amateur academies, education and the formation of international dynasties.

Quentin Ladriere, area manager of Wallonia Export-Investment Agency, said: “If we are here today, in the framework of the Belgium and Luxembourg Economic Mission in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, it is because we know that there is significant potential in many sectors in the country.

“The equine and camel sectors are for sure part of them, and these are also areas in which Belgium and Luxembourg province are really innovative and have developed great expertise. We are therefore convinced that synergies could be created between what our companies have to offer and the needs in Saudi Arabia,” he told Arab News.

“Indeed, among our delegation, we have unique companies specialized in areas such as breeding, healthcare devices for large animals, veterinary cell therapy, food for camels, and even a company specialized in the organization of main events. We also have the chance to have the equestrian cluster EquisFair, which gathers several companies of the sector in Belgium and particularly in Wallonia,” Ladriere said.

Saudi businessmen were briefed on partnerships, the establishment of incubators based on local content in the camel sector, and the increase in European expertise in establishing horse centers, as well as the economy of equestrian sports.

European companies offered their expertise in developing existing networks, creating new links between stakeholders, creating channels to intensify marketing and enhance special skills, and obtaining support from research and development for marketing, both nationally and internationally.

A European company taking part in the forum, Medical Imagery, introduced a device to allow CT scans of the entire bodies of large animals, including horses and camels.

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