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Saudis, Russians enthusiastic about mutual investment in agriculture

Ahmed Al-Rajhi, chairman of the Council of Saudi Chambers, presents Sergey Levin, Russia’s deputy minister of agriculture, a gift. (AN photo)
RIYADH: Sergey Levin, Russia’s deputy minister of agriculture, and his delegation comprising representatives of various Russian companies visited Riyadh on Monday for an enthusiastic discussion of mutual investment opportunities.
Ahmed Al-Rajhi, chairman of the Council of Saudi Chambers, who welcomed the delegation, called for benefiting from Russian experiences in the fields of technology, food industries, agricultural production and livestock by establishing joint projects and localization of these technologies in the Kingdom, opening grounds for investors in both countries.
Mikhail Mamonov, managing director for international trade promotion from the Russian export center, told Arab News: “Russia is looking forward to maximizing its exports. This is a pivotal moment for our two countries. We need to move beyond the words. I see aspects where we can be proactive, for example the agricultural mission. “Many Arab nations claim to be the gates of the Gulf, but in fact, Saudi Arabia has the key.”
Levin said: “We look forward to more agreements and trade deals in the agriculture and livestock sector, Russia has always been a big agricultural producer; the government supports exporting and marketing Russian products abroad. We are on our way to an agreement. Simply, Russia is the biggest country in the world, the fifth in agriculture; 50 percent of its land is good for farming. Russia has 10 percent of the fresh water in the world, and is considered an agricultural bank. Russian farming is the best economical resource, with a 3 to 8 percent increase yearly.”
Levin also noted the importance of halal products, seeing that Russia will be dealing with a Muslim country: “We have halal products. In Russia, there are 25 million Muslims. We export our halal products to the Middle East.”
Riyadh Al-Khamees, head of the Saudi agricultural sector at the Saudi Council of Chambers, noted that an exchange of trade would benefit both parties, seeing that “during winter, Russia needs vegetables,” and Saudi Arabia could provide these. He also noted that Russia has a perfect environment for planting wheat, and it would help to expand Saudi farming in Russia with the Kingdom providing fertilizers produced by SABIC, with the help of pure phosphate, a mineral readily available in the Kingdom.

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