• The Prince of the Eastern Region inaugurates the Environmental Investment Forum 2024


    In the presence of His Excellency the Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture

    The Prince of the Eastern Region inaugurates the Environmental Investment Forum 2024

    About 100 investment opportunities, including 39 opportunities in the Eastern Province, with a value exceeding 100 million riyals, in the waste management sector.


    His Royal Highness Prince Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz, Prince of the Eastern Province, opened the activities of the Environmental Investment Forum 2024, on Sunday, May 5, 2024, which was organized by the Asharqia Chamber with the aim of enabling investors to access various investment opportunities in the environmental field, and introducing them to the financial support and financing programs provided by the state for projects.

    His Excellency the Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture, Engineer Abdul Rahman bin Abdul Mohsen Al-Fadhli, and many government officials, an elite group of local and international businessmen and academics, and experienced specialists and those interested in the field of environmental investment, participated in the forum.

    His Highness the Prince of the Eastern Province honored the sponsors and supporters of the forum, and His Highness toured the accompanying exhibition and witnessed the signing of three agreements: the first: between the Eastern Region Development Authority and the National Center for Vegetation Development and Combating Desertification, the second: between the National Center for Vegetation Development and Combating Desertification and the Friends of the Environment Society, and the third: Between the Asharqia Chamber and the Friends of the Environment Society, and during his tour, His Highness listened to an explanation from the head of the chamber, Badr bin Sulaiman Al-Ruzaiza, about the forum, its objectives and its most prominent topics.

    His Excellency the Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture, Engineer Abdul Rahman bin Abdul Mohsen Al-Fadhli, confirmed the existence of about (100) investment opportunities in the waste management sector in the Kingdom, including (39) opportunities in the Eastern Province, with a value exceeding (100) billion riyals.

    His Excellency Minister Al-Fadhli explained that the Kingdom has placed environmental protection as one of the pillars of achieving sustainable development. It has also attached great importance to sustainability in its comprehensive sense and has launched many programs and initiatives. To support sustainable development that contributes to creating investment opportunities for the private sector, given the importance of natural resources in the world, which constitute an essential source for about 50% of the global economy.

    His Excellency added that the environment sector in the Kingdom has achieved a number of achievements, most notably the preparation and adoption of the National Environment Strategy, the preparation and adoption of the new environmental system, the launch of global environmental initiatives in the G20, as well as the Green Saudi Initiative and the Green Middle East Initiative, and the designation of an Environment Week annually at the national level, in addition to... Expanding the scope of partnership with the private sector, as it represents an important factor in achieving the sustainable development aspirations of the vision.

    He pointed out that the environment sector provides several investment opportunities in various fields, capable of protecting and developing the environment, in addition to generating financial returns for investors, including investment opportunities in natural reserves and national parks, to preserve biodiversity and support tourism, and that by 2030 AD there will be marine reserves in the Kingdom. With a size of 30%, indicating the opportunities provided by the field of treating waste and converting it into energy or recycled products.

    Regarding fish farming, His Excellency stated that there are 50 fish farming sites available for investment, in addition to several opportunities in wastewater treatment, environmental quality monitoring, environmental consulting services and other investment fields.

    At the conclusion of his speech, His Excellency stated that the environmental system, in the context of its endeavor to raise the efficiency of environmental services and regulate the sector: By opening platforms to qualify environmental service providers and granting them the necessary licenses that enable them to work in this field, and presenting the environmental challenges facing the sector and turning them into investment opportunities, in addition to its continuous support by developing lists of approved environmental service providers and classifying them on its official websites, to facilitate resorting to their services and seeking assistance from them according to Environmental regulations and requirements.

    Al-Ruzaiza appreciated the patronage and honor of His Highness the Prince of the Eastern Province for the forum, stressing that his patronage contributes to supporting the activities and initiatives of the Chamber and gives it the momentum required to continue its efforts in organizing and hosting forums and conferences. He added that His Highness's honor gives the forum an added value to its value and importance in developing the environmental investment sector. Pointing out that the forum provides an effective environment for communication, supports the exploration of opportunities, and monitors the opinions, ideas, and visions necessary to support the state of development and increasing growth witnessed by the environmental investment system in the Kingdom.

    Al-Ruzaiza said that the environmental sector receives great attention from our wise government and is at the top of the goals of the Kingdom's Vision 2030, which pushed for many promotions to protect the environment and preserve its resources. It created balanced and comprehensive strategies and launched programs and initiatives aimed at preserving it and raising awareness of environmental standards and ways to adhere to them. It sought to activate investment benefit from it within the framework of its sustainable development endeavors, which ensure the fulfillment of the development and environmental needs of present and future generations.

    He continued, "The environmental sector represents the utmost importance in preserving renewable natural resources in the terrestrial, marine and air environments. It also provides the necessary foundation for achieving comprehensive and sustainable growth with food security and enhancing human well-being and quality of life that keeps pace with aspirations."

    He stressed that the Asharqia Chamber, out of its belief in the importance of participating in spreading environmental awareness and enhancing knowledge of environmentally-related topics, is keen to hold a forum (Environmental Investment 2024... Restoration and Sustainability), which brings together a number of experts, government officials, and others interested in protecting and preserving the environment with Eastern Province businessmen in various sectors, we affirm our firm conviction that balancing environmental considerations and development requirements inevitably leads to achieving a safe, prosperous, and sustainable economy.

    The Chairman of the Chamber's Environment Committee, Talal bin Sultan Al-Rasheed, said that the Kingdom has long roots and a great legacy in taking into account environmental proposals and taking their standard considerations when implementing development projects and programs, and in directing its positive efforts towards environmental issues, whether external or local, by protecting and developing the country's natural heritage. Once the Kingdom's Vision 2030 was launched towards developing all sectors and achieving optimal exploitation of the natural resources that the country possesses in order to reach a sustainable development economy, the environmental sector was at the top of the important axes to which the vision paid great attention and considered it a fundamental pillar in achieving its development goals..

    Al-Rasheed pointed out that the Kingdom is continuing to expand the environmental sector system, improve its systems and legislation, promote green investments of all kinds, and double its spending on investing and financing projects that work in areas that support the environment.

    He stressed that in light of what our country seeks to expand the base of environmental investments, this forum comes with the axes it contains and reviews of topics, supporting practices that ensure the protection of the environment by extracting experiences, reviewing and evaluating the opportunities granted by regulations and legislation in achieving environmental sustainability and their effects on the private sector, To enrich dialogue and discussion on a number of topics related to the challenges facing entrepreneurs who wish to invest in environmental investments, it attempts to reveal all the financial support and financing programs that the state provides for environmental projects, and other topics related to the Kingdom's experience in environmental investment.

    In the first session, which was moderated by the Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Environment Society, Engineer Abdel Nasser bin Hussein Al-Wadaei, it was entitled (Empowering investors to access diverse investment opportunities in the environmental field), and the CEO of the National Center for Vegetation Development and Combating Desertification, Dr. Khalid bin Abdullah Al-Abdulqader, who confirmed that the center focuses on forest development, and pointed out that forests constitute approximately 1.5% of the total area of the Kingdom, including 500 national parks with an area exceeding one and a half billion square meters. He pointed out that the Kingdom contains more than 2,600 species. of plants, and there are partnerships with the private sector to empower them and provide appropriate investment opportunities in the sector.


    As well as the CEO of the National Waste Management Center - Mawan, Dr. Abdullah bin Faisal Al-Sibai, who said that the Eastern Province contains 39 investment opportunities in waste management, expecting more than 600,000 jobs to be available in the coming years in the sector, and there is a continuing concern for fair competition among interested establishments. With investment, while the Executive Vice President of Finance and Strategic Planning - SARC, Mr. Faisal bin Judallah Al-Sulami, said that the center works in an integrated manner with the private sector and is keen to consolidate competitive factors to motivate the sector to invest in environmental fields.

    The Executive Director of Strategy and Operational Excellence of the National Center for Environmental Compliance Oversight, Ms. Nadia bint Khalid Al-Amoudi, also spoke about the volume of investment in the field of environmental control and that it is planned to reach 6 billion riyals by 2030 AD, and she pointed to the investment opportunities provided through the various services in environmental control. More than 240,000 establishments are registered with the centre, and there are efforts to localize technologies for environmental compliance.

    For his part, the CEO of the National Center for Wildlife Development, Dr. Muhammad Ali bin Bahaa al-Din Qurban, reviewed the strategic investment plan for the National Center for Wildlife Development, and its role in stimulating economic diversification, enhancing private sector participation, and attracting investment. He pointed out that the center's plan focuses on two tracks, the first It is working to create investment opportunities and attract investments in the wildlife sector, while the second track seeks to enhance the participation of the private sector in carrying out some of the work that the center is currently carrying out.

    He stressed that the center aims to enhance the role of the private sector in the wildlife sector, given its capabilities in the fields of management, development, operation, investment, and innovation. He pointed out that the center has identified several targeted activities for partnership with the private sector, including, but not limited to, activities Inspection of shops selling wildlife and border crossings, the development and management of national parks, and the development and management of zoos. About the partnership initiative with the private sector in the field of inspection, the Center has completed the design of an operational and financial model aimed at increasing the level of coverage in the sector, increasing commitment Adhere to regulations and standards, and improve financial sustainability.

    He said that the center contributes to enabling the private sector to invest in areas related to wildlife, by creating a legislative environment that is possible and encouraging for investment, under the umbrella of the ministry's efforts. It works to identify attractive partnership models for the private sector, and to publish and market investment opportunities within workshops and forums, as well as developing standards. And guidelines to contribute to the success and sustainability of investments, cooperate with investors, support them with information and expertise, follow up on their efforts, and activate cooperation with the Environment Fund by providing the necessary incentives and enablers to encourage investment.


    In the second session, which was entitled (Support and Financing Programs for Environmental Projects) and was moderated by the Head of the Department of Environment and Natural Agricultural Resources at King Faisal University, Dr. Muhammad bin Ahmed Al-Sanad, in which the CEO of the Environment Fund, Professor Munir bin Fahd Al-Sahli, spoke, who explained that the Fund Environment aims to contribute to the financial sustainability of the environment and meteorology sectors, and provide the necessary capabilities for its advancement, through optimal investment of its capital, support of environmental programs, studies and initiatives, stimulating environmentally friendly technologies, improving environmental performance and environmental rehabilitation programs, and supporting the operational budgets of environmental centers and the National Center of Meteorology. He pointed out that the Fund has become a pioneer in working to enable a sustainable environment, and since its inauguration, it has played a distinctive role in maximizing resources and adopting the best means and practices to achieve financial sustainability and stimulate investment and innovation in the field of environment and meteorology.

    The CEO of the Social Development Bank, Eng. Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al-Humaidi, also spoke about the financing products that the bank provides, whether to individuals or establishments, and the non-profit sector. He said that there is a continuous keenness to develop the products provided and improve them continuously to achieve the desired goals. He pointed out that The Bank is one of the important pillars of development in empowering citizens by providing easy financing products and programs to contribute an active and influential role in the process of construction and development and advancing the national economy. Since its inception, the Bank has witnessed fundamental developments that have positioned it to this day as one of the most important development institutions that play an effective and influential role in the development process. Social and economic components of the country.

    The acting CEO of the Small and Medium Enterprises Bank, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Financing Guarantee Program for Small and Medium Enterprises (Kafala), also spoke, Mr. Abdul Rahman bin Mohammed bin Mansour, who, for his part, reviewed the challenges that were addressed about financing small and medium enterprises with the relevant partner agencies. Such as the high cost of financing, the increase in requirements, the many financing requirements, and the long duration of procedures necessary to obtain financing, pointing out that last year the bank was able to finance more than 1,720 small, medium, and micro enterprises, and lending operations through the financing portal exceeded 8 billion riyals.

    He explained that the financing that was provided, especially to small and medium enterprises working in the environmental sector, amounted to about one billion and four hundred million riyals, through the Kafalah program, which has supported this sector for a long time, and which guaranteed these loans, stressing that the program works with all financing parties to Providing guarantees and guarantees to investors of up to 90% of the financing value.

    Regarding the latest innovative financing models that can contribute to involving the private sector in financing small and medium enterprises, he said that we are always working to launch new models. To keep pace with development and attract innovative global models, we now have 3 approved financing models: Through it, the volume of financing exceeded 860 million; More than 730 small, medium and micro enterprises benefited from it, namely: the joint financing model, the agency financing model, and the low-cost loan model.


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