Al-Khorayef: Saudi Arabia Seeking to Provide Comprehensive Food Security Solutions

Saudi Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar Al-Khorayef is seen at the Saudi Food Show in Riyadh. (SPA)
Saudi Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar Al-Khorayef is seen at the Saudi Food Show in Riyadh. (SPA)
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Al-Khorayef: Saudi Arabia Seeking to Provide Comprehensive Food Security Solutions

Saudi Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar Al-Khorayef is seen at the Saudi Food Show in Riyadh. (SPA)
Saudi Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar Al-Khorayef is seen at the Saudi Food Show in Riyadh. (SPA)

Saudi Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar Al-Khorayef emphasized that the food industry sector is not merely a source of food production, but a fundamental pillar for achieving the Kingdom's food security.

He made his remarks during the opening of the Saudi Food Show that is being held in strategic partnership with the Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones (MODON) and KAOUN International in Riyadh.

He noted that the Kingdom seeks to offer comprehensive solutions for food security, adding that a food security strategy has been developed to ensure its needs for essential food products are met under both normal conditions and emergencies.

This strategy aligns with several others under the Saudi Vision 2030, including the National Industrial Strategy, the Saudization Strategy, and the Export Strategy.

Moreover, Al-Khorayef highlighted that Saudi Arabia has achieved tangible results in food security, meeting its needs for essential food products under all circumstances, including emergencies, and enhancing self-sufficiency in many food products. The Kingdom has achieved 100% self-sufficiency in dairy products, 52% in fish, and 68% in poultry.

He stated that the Kingdom boasts a robust industrial base with more than 1,500 food factories and investments exceeding SAR88 billion.

He also noted that the Kingdom's food exports amounted to approximately SAR20 billion in 2023. The Saudi Industrial Development Fund provided 23 loans worth SAR700 million to food factories, and the Saudi Export-Import Bank provided more than SAR3 billion to support food exports during the same year.

The minister stressed that the ministry, in collaboration with its partners, aims to improve industrial infrastructure, encourage investment in the food industry sector, and provide financial and technical support to small and medium-sized enterprises in this sector.

Additionally, the ministry is exploring new investment opportunities and increasing production capacities in the meat, poultry, and seafood sectors.



Lebanon Tourism Season Revives Economic Outlook

People are seen at the arrival lounge at Beirut International Airport, Lebanon. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
People are seen at the arrival lounge at Beirut International Airport, Lebanon. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
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Lebanon Tourism Season Revives Economic Outlook

People are seen at the arrival lounge at Beirut International Airport, Lebanon. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
People are seen at the arrival lounge at Beirut International Airport, Lebanon. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

The surge in visitors to Lebanon during Eid al-Adha and high demand for summer concert bookings are boosting hopes for a revival in tourism.

This sector is crucial for reigniting positive economic growth after about nine months of challenging conditions due to the Gaza war and subsequent border clashes between Hezbollah and Israel in southern Lebanon.

Contrary to earlier fears this month of possible Israeli strikes inside Lebanon, Ali Hamieh, caretaker Minister of Public Works and Transport, reported a daily average of 14,000 arrivals at Beirut’s Rafic Hariri International Airport, with numbers on the rise.

Jean Abboud, President of the Association of Travel and Tourism Agents, confirmed that despite initial concerns, booking rates have bounced back to 90-95% after Israeli threats of a mid-month strike. Most arrivals are Lebanese expatriates and foreign workers.

Before the summer season’s anticipated surge, Lebanon saw a 5.37% decrease in arrivals, with air traffic down by 9.34% and passenger numbers at Beirut International Airport dropping by 6.84% in the first five months of this year, totaling 2.29 million travelers compared to 2.46 million last year.

These declines were linked to the border clashes.

Lebanon’s tourism sector, generating over $5 billion annually in recent years, ranks as the country’s second most vital revenue stream after expatriate remittances, which officially approach $7 billion.

Together, they contribute more than half of Lebanon’s national income, which has dropped sharply from about $55 billion to under $22 billion due to the ongoing financial and currency crises that erupted five years ago.

Despite significant losses during peak tourism seasons like Christmas, Easter, and Eid al-Fitr, a report by Bank Audi indicated that Lebanon’s tourism revenues lost over $1 billion in the first six months of the Gaza conflict, driven by a 24% drop in tourist arrivals.

On average, tourists spend around $3,000 during their stay in Lebanon.