Saudi aquaculture investments to reach SR60 billion

Updated 29 November 2013
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Saudi aquaculture investments to reach SR60 billion

RIYADH: Investments on aquaculture projects will be increased from their current level of SR20 billion to SR60 billion to produce one million tons of fish products in the next 16 years, a senior official of the Ministry of Agriculture was quoted as saying.
Jabir Al-Shihri, ministry undersecretary for fishery affairs, admitted that they are suffering from poor situation of fisheries in the Arabian Gulf and Red Sea which led them to depend on aquaculture in the future.
He said the GCC countries used to meet and explore fish reserves in the Arabian Gulf waters and how to manage them.
Likewise, there is an organization concerned with the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden which regularity meets and explores fish reserve situation, fishing techniques and how to protect fauna and flora of the Red Sea, he said.
The ministry official termed aquaculture as new and advanced industries.
He expressed hope they would provide a global model in this regard, as did Norway and Chile, where they could produce one million tons of fish per year.
Most of aquaculture projects will come in the form of cages in sea waters close to the shore from where the fish will be transferred to nearby processing facilities and prepared for local and international marketing, he said.
The aquaculture sector receives enormous support from the government and being funded by the Agricultural Development Fund (ADF), he added.
Last week, the Ministry official said the Kingdom is currently producing 100,000 tons of fish annually while its consumption stands at 285-300,000 tons annually, which simply means production narrowly covers one third of consumption.
He said the Kingdom is, through an initiative made by the ADF in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and other government agencies, set to introduce new fisheries and aquaculture industries to raise production gradually from 100,000 tons in 2013 to one million tons by 2029.


Bahrain to use Huawei in 5G rollout despite US warnings

Updated 51 min 19 sec ago
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Bahrain to use Huawei in 5G rollout despite US warnings

  • Washington has warned countries against using Chinese technology
  • ‘We have no concern at this stage as long as this technology is meeting our standards’

DUBAI: Bahrain plans to roll out a commercial 5G mobile network by June, partly using Huawei technology despite the United States’ concerns the Chinese telecom giant’s equipment could be used for spying.
Washington has warned countries against using Chinese technology, saying Huawei could be used by Beijing to spy on the West. China and Huawei have strongly rejected the allegations.
VIVA Bahrain, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabian state-controlled telecoms firm STC, last month signed an agreement to use Huawei products in its 5G network, one of several Gulf telecoms companies working with the Chinese company.
“We have no concern at this stage as long as this technology is meeting our standards,” Bahrain’s Telecommunications Minister Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed told Reuters on Tuesday when asked about US concerns over Huawei technology.
A senior State Department official said the US routinely urges allies and partners to consider the risks posed by vendors subject to extrajudicial or unchecked compulsion by foreign states.
The US Fifth Fleet uses its base in Bahrain, a Western-allied island state off the Saudi coast, to patrol several important shipping lanes, including near Iran.
Bahrain expects to be one of the first countries to make 5G available nationwide, Mohammed said, although he cautioned it would depend on handset and equipment availability.
Early movers like the United States, China, Japan and South Korea are just starting to roll out their 5G networks, but other regions, such as Europe, are still years away and the first 5G phones are only likely to be released in the second half of this year.
Bahrain’s state-controlled operator Batelco is working with Sweden’s Ericsson on its 5G network, while the country’s third telecoms group Zain Bahrain is yet to announce a technology provider.
No foreign company is restricted by the government from providing equipment for Bahrain’s 5G network, Mohammed said, adding mobile operators choose who they work with.
Australia and New Zealand have stopped operators using Huawei equipment in their networks but the European Union is expected to ignore US calls to ban the Chinese company, instead urging countries to share more data to tackle cybersecurity risks related to 5G networks.
Mohammed said the rollout of the 5G network was an “important milestone” for Bahrain, which is hoping investments in technology will help spur its economy, which was hit hard by a recent drop in oil prices.
“It is something we are proud to have,” he said.