Cabinet okays agro investments abroad
12 June 2012
Saudi Gazette - JEDDAH - Saudi investors have got the go-ahead to invest abroad in the field of agriculture as part of King Abdullah’s initiative. This was decided at a meeting of the Council of Ministers here Monday. King Abdullah, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, chaired the meeting.
The Cabinet laid down certain parameters for the purpose which include the provision of credit facilities and easy financing by the Agricultural Development Fund. Other conditions are:
* Strict abidance by King Abdullah’s initiative for agricultural investment abroad.
* The investor is required to provide a comprehensive feasibility study for the proposed projects prepared by a specialist consultation body which should have knowledge about investment in the targeted country.
* The size of financing should not exceed 60 percent of the total investment mentioned in the feasibility study.
* The Saudi investor should have the right as per the laws of the host country to export at least 50 percent of his produce to the Kingdom’s markets, and
* An investor should be able to benefit from agricultural equipment owned by local farmers in the host country.
The Council also approved discussions with relevant Turkish authorities on establishing an electricity grid between Turkey and the Kingdom.
The ministries of Water and Electricity, Foreign Affairs, Petroleum and Mineral Resources, and the Electricity and Co-Generation Regulatory Authority and the Saudi Electricity Company have been tasked with submitting final recommendations on the subject for completion of the necessary procedures.
The Council of Ministers’ General Secretariat presented a statistical report on development projects undertaken by several ministries from January 2006 to November 2011. The report, prepared by the Orders and Decisions Follow-up section at the Royal Court, shed light on projects which have been completed successfully. It also pinpointed obstacles hampering implementation of other crucial projects which have either been delayed or shelved.
The report said 39 percent of the projects were completed during the period while 41 percent of the projects were in the execution phase. About 20 percent of the projects have not yet started due to various reasons, the report added. — SG/SPA