Ahmed Shahini, CEO of Local Investments at SALIC, said that SALIC’s role in the local market is to empower private sector companies.
In an interview with Al-Arabiya, Shahini indicated that the fisheries sector is one of the targeted sectors, adding that fishing operations in the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf have become limited in the last 5 years.
He pointed out that the total catch on the two coasts of the Red Sea does not exceed 75,000 tons, and therefore fish farming is the ideal solution.
He stated that empowering private sector companies depends on two important elements. The first element is to increase local production of some targeted commodities, including fish products.
Shahini revealed that the announcement of acquiring a stake in the National Aquaculture Group “Naqwa” comes in implementation of SALIC’s plans, which include reducing dependence on imported food, increasing exports and reducing the trade balance deficit in the Kingdom.
Shahini stated that the second element is to build flexibility for food supply chains in order to ensure their effectiveness inside the Kingdom and to complement the role of “Salik” outside Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi “SALIC” company, one of the Public Investment Fund companies, has signed an agreement to acquire 42.4% of the National Aquaculture Group “Naqwa”.
Abdul Rahman bin Abdul Mohsen Al-Fadhli, Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture, Chairman of the Board of Directors of SALIC, said: “The strategic partnership between SALIC and NAQUA comes within the framework of work to achieve the goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 in the field of ensuring the sustainability of vital resources and achieves SALIC’s strategic objectives of In achieving the national targets for food security and empowering the agri-food sector by enhancing local production, which will be reflected in improving the trade balance deficit.
He added: “This approach is in line with the directions of the Public Investment Fund and its portfolio companies as a major driver for the growth of the local economy to build long-term partnerships with the private sector. SALIC will work to develop the local aquaculture sector through partnership with Naqwa, with the aim of empowering the aquaculture sector.” This will contribute to increasing production and creating direct and indirect job opportunities.
For his part, Ziyad bin Othman Al-Hogail, Chairman of the Board of Directors of “Naqwa” confirmed: “The entry of Salik as a shareholder is a strategic alliance that will enhance the quality and sustainability of Naqwa’s operations in the field of aquaculture, which is the core of its corporate culture and brand.”
Al-Hogail added: “We will work together to achieve our common goals in the field of food security and create added economic value for our partners and customers inside and outside the Kingdom. Since its inception, Naqwa has relied on the latest technologies and practices for its activities in the field of shrimp, fish, sea cucumber and fish feed.”
“Naqwa” is the second SALIC investment in the field of fisheries after the transfer of the Saudi Fisheries Company’s share of 39.99% from the Public Investment Fund to “SALIC” in March 2021, with the aim of strengthening and developing the role of “SALIC” as an arm. An investment for the Public Investment Fund in the food and agricultural sector and to stimulate the growth of the sector, and given that SALIC has extensive experience in managing investments in the food and agricultural sector, which contributes to enhancing food security in the Kingdom.