Saudi Arabia’s ambitious goal to boost its food product exports from the current $4.5 billion to a staggering $10.6 billion by 2035 is well underway. The Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones (MODON) recently signed seven industrial investment contracts. These agreements allocate over 99.4 thousand square meters in the food and beverages sector, attracting both national and foreign investments of around $61.9 million.
Bandar Al-Kharif, Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources, asserts that the Kingdom aims to achieve self-sufficiency and food security throughout the region. This is in large part due to its unique geographical position that makes it a critical hub for industrial capacity building.
Al-Kharif confirmed during a discussion session at the Saudi Food Exhibition that Riyadh is open to attracting quality investments in the food industries sector. This is particularly relevant for companies capable of transferring technologies, innovating business models, and elevating market capacities to achieve global reach.
Saudi Arabia has achieved high levels of self-sufficiency in several food products. Self-sufficiency in dairy and milk products has been surpassed, reaching 70% in poultry, 57% in red meats, and 60% in fish.
At the same session, Engineer Abdul Rahman Al-Fadley, Minister of Environment, Water, and Agriculture, highlighted a significant increase in loans from the Agricultural Development Fund. He also revealed that the food wastage in Saudi Arabia exceeds $10.6 billion, emphasizing that efforts are being made to reduce this waste.
Al-Fadley added that food security is achieved by the ability to retain supply chains during crises. He pointed out that the country’s geographical location allows it to build a base for import, re-export, and manufacturing to other countries.
On a different note, MODON signed seven contracts to allocate 99,400 m2 in the food and beverages sector. These agreements attracted national and foreign investments reaching $61.9 million, alongside two agreements to facilitate financial solutions and support entrepreneurship, all announced during the Saudi Food Exhibition.
Ali Al-Omeir, Deputy Head of MODON for Business Development, noted that the current year has seen an increase in the number of food factories, exceeding 1,200 factories. This represents 22% of the total investments attracted to industrial cities.