In the pink: Saudis’ love for seafood feeding Norwegian salmon sales

In the pink: Saudis’ love for seafood feeding Norwegian salmon sales
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Updated 01 October 2023
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In the pink: Saudis’ love for seafood feeding Norwegian salmon sales

In the pink: Saudis’ love for seafood feeding Norwegian salmon sales
  • Value of fish exports to Kingdom rose to $66.4m in 2022.
  • Norway is world’s second-largest seafood exporter with annual sales of $14bn.

ALESUND: A growing passion for seafood in Saudi Arabia is helping to drive demand for Norwegian salmon, according to an industry official from the European nation.

Ingelill Jacobsen, project manager for emerging markets at the Norwegian Seafood Council, said exports of the fish to the Kingdom rose to $66.4 million last year.

With sales in the first eight months of this year exceeding $44.4 million, Jacobsen said she expected the full-year total to be even higher than in 2022.

Based in Tromso, the NSC is a public company owned by the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries. It has played a significant role in driving sales of salmon in the Middle East.

In 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, sales of Norwegian salmon to Saudi Arabia totaled just $27 million, though that was itself a 50 percent rise from the previous year.

Norway is the world’s second-largest exporter of seafood. Its sales in 2022 topped $14.1 billion, with Poland, France and the US among the biggest buyers.

In November, representatives from the NSC will take part in the Saudi Food Expo in Riyadh in a bid to promote greater cooperation in the fields of aquaculture and aquaculture technology, according to Jacobsen.

“At the moment, we are managing the Middle East from Norway, but in the future we will appoint a representative to be on the ground in the region,” she told journalists at a media event in Alesund, a port town on the west coast of Norway.

The Middle East is a growing market, with exports of Norwegian seafood to the region hitting SR1.4 billion ($373.3 million) in 2022.

“The Saudi food and health authorities are doing great work with increasing the consumption of seafood to improve the health of the people, reduce obesity and cardiac diseases. For the NSC it would be great to assist in this work,” she said.

“Many Norwegian aquaculture technology companies are now cooperating with the industry in the Kingdom, and there have been several visits both from Norway to the Kingdom and from the Kingdom to Norway.”

She added: “Seafood production (in Norway) is strongly regulated by licenses, biology, animal welfare and sustainability, and we don’t want demand to be a factor that in any way undermines any of these concerns.

“Norway was the first country to successfully farm and then commercialize Atlantic salmon back in the seventies, so we have 50 years of experience in this field.”

After oil and gas, the seafood industry is the second-largest contributor to Norway’s economy.

As well as salmon harvesting, cod farming has been gaining momentum in the country.

During a visit to a cod farm owned by Ode, founder and CEO Ola Kvalheim told reporters about the challenges and opportunities faced by the aquaculture industry.

“As the world needs more healthy and sustainable protein, farming cod is an excellent opportunity to solve both the need for more protein and the need for more sustainable food production,” he said.

“I grew up in a small rural community along the Norwegian coastline, with a long heritage of exporting cod. Before the tremendous success of the salmon, cod was the most important seafood option from Norway. Now we are finally able to successfully farm the iconic Atlantic cod.”

Kvalheim’s farm is located close to Alesund, where the sea conditions are ideal for nurturing the fish.

“These conditions and the cold and nutritious waters are perfect for Atlantic cod,” he said.

“We produce the cod here in a natural habitat with the right temperature and in the right environment. We are focusing on zero emissions using solar panels that produce green energy for use on our farms.

“Boats and equipment run on that green energy, making it eco-friendly production. We are currently producing about 20 million meals of cod per year, next year we will be at 70 million meals,” he said.

Kvalheim said his company’s long-term plan was to become a leading seafood company.

“Initially we had a clear focus on building our organization, our value chain, establishing best in class operations and positioning our product in the market. Based on very strong operations and biology coupled with solid demand for our products, we are now scaling significantly up.”


Wallan Investment Company celebrates Lotus Technology’s debut on Nasdaq

Wallan Investment Company celebrates Lotus Technology’s debut on Nasdaq
Updated 29 February 2024
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Wallan Investment Company celebrates Lotus Technology’s debut on Nasdaq

Wallan Investment Company celebrates Lotus Technology’s debut on Nasdaq

Wallan Investment Company — a subsidiary of Wallan Holding — was invited by Lotus Technology to present the Nasdaq Stock Market opening bell at the Nasdaq Tower in New York, US. Celebrating Lotus Technology’s debut on the Nasdaq exchange, the ceremony marked a significant milestone for Wallan Investment Company, as Wallan Trading will become the luxury brand’s official representative in Saudi Arabia. 

Under the iconic British brand “Lotus,” Lotus Technology is a pioneering luxury battery electric vehicle maker that designs, develops, and sells luxury lifestyle vehicles. Fusing proprietary next-generation technology built on world-class research and development capabilities and an asset-light model, the company is breaking new ground in electrification, digitization, and intelligence. 

Lotus Technology is renowned for its expertise in manufacturing and developing high-end electric cars with advanced battery, energy management, electronic control systems, smart driving, and smart manufacturing technologies. It is also known for its impressive racing history spanning over seven decades, and it represents the gold standard in luxury sports cars, setting market-leading standards in performance, design, and engineering.

Fahad Al-Wallan, chairman of Wallan Holding, represented the company at the ceremony, with Lotus Technology CEO Qingfeng Feng ringing the opening bell. Lotus Technology was listed under the stock ticker symbol “LOT.”

Al-Wallan said: “I could think of no greater or more fitting way for Lotus Technology to enter such an exciting, new phase of its history. Nasdaq’s opening bell ceremony has become iconic over the years, ushering in eras of sustained prosperity for countless companies and enterprises across a range of sectors. We are proud to join this long and esteemed list, through our investment arm’s — Wallan Investment Company — stake in Lotus Tech. Lotus Technology’s listing on the Nasdaq stock exchange paves the way for sustainable growth, aligning with the company’s transformation strategy and increased investments in innovative products..”

He added: “As demonstrated by our partnership with Lotus Technology, Wallan Investment Company is fully committed to investing in the world’s most innovative and future-focused enterprises. We have developed a diverse and comprehensive portfolio, uniquely curated to deliver the highest return on investments, bolstering our revenues and the wider Saudi economy.”

Wallan Trading Company, a subsidiary of Wallan Holding, is one of the oldest companies in the Kingdom’s automotive sector. With over 45 years of experience, it provides high-quality products and services to its customers. The company represents major global automobile manufacturers such as Hyundai, Genesis, Geely, Renault, and Zeekr. It actively seeks investment opportunities and aims to meet the diverse needs of its customers.


J&J MedTech launches direct operations in Kingdom

J&J MedTech launches direct operations in Kingdom
Updated 28 February 2024
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J&J MedTech launches direct operations in Kingdom

J&J MedTech launches direct operations in Kingdom

Johnson and Johnson Medical Saudi Arabia Limited, a provider of high-tech medical and surgical equipment, has announced the establishment of its direct operations in the Kingdom. This comes as a strategic move to bring customers closer to the Johnson and Johnson legacy, facilitating a more streamlined experience.

A significant milestone, this move reflects the company’s continued investment in the future of Saudi healthcare and its commitment toward enhancing medical interventions and improving clinical outcomes.

The new direct model will give J&J MedTech greater control over the customer experience, ultimately translating into better patient outcomes. Key benefits of the newly established direct model include consistent service quality, centralized product source adhering to Johnson and Johnson’s quality standards, faster response times to customer concerns, improved tracking and product visibility, and increased scope of collaborations, among others. This milestone reflects Johnson and Johnson’s relentless commitment to providing communities across the world with the best in healthcare. The go-to-market model transformation is a pivotal moment in the company’s history.

Marzena Kulis, managing director of J&J MedTech for Middle East and Africa, said: “We remain deeply vested in Saudi Arabia and in contributing to Vision 2030 to support in developing the healthcare sector, driving economic growth, nurturing local talent, and fostering innovation. As an entity, Johnson and Johnson has been present in Saudi Arabia for nearly 40 years, putting the needs of patients, families, physicians, and nurses first, and functioning as advocates for the health of the Saudi community. As we transition into this new direct model, I truly believe that our esteemed partners will have fewer obstacles in providing the best care for their patients.”

Furthermore, aligned with J&J MedTech KSA’s mandate to support the government’s Saudi nationalization scheme or Nitaqat, the GTM model transformation has created multiple job opportunities for Saudi nationals. In addition to this, Johnson and Johnson supported 345 direct jobs in Saudi Arabia in 2022, primarily in the fields of marketing and sales, and for every direct job supported by Johnson and Johnson in the Kingdom, an additional 2.5 jobs are supported in the country.

Trad Al-Khelaiwi, general manager of J&J MedTech KSA, added: “As a company that is dedicated to fostering local talent, our direct operations are also aimed at creating more opportunities within the Kingdom and supporting the government’s Saudization efforts. In fact, since the start of the project, we’ve made 76 new hires — with our priority and majority being Saudi nationals. I have no doubt that this transformative shift will bring our customers closer to Johnson and Johnson’s exceptional quality standards and develop the local healthcare market with international know-how. We will continue to work toward the benefit of healthcare in Saudi Arabia and our communities at large.”

Commenting on the strategic move, Peter Lane, transformation director at J&J MedTech, said: “By taking this bold step, we are not only embracing the health goals of Vision 2030 and aligning with the Health Sector Transformation Program, but also spotlighting the immense potential of local talent in driving innovation and progress. This strategic move exemplifies our commitment to enriching the healthcare sector in the Kingdom, fostering a global collaborative approach that synergizes with the nation’s aspirations for a healthier and prosperous future.”


solutions by stc, Mavenir forge path for KSA’s first open RAN

solutions by stc, Mavenir forge path for KSA’s first open RAN
Updated 28 February 2024
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solutions by stc, Mavenir forge path for KSA’s first open RAN

solutions by stc, Mavenir forge path for KSA’s first open RAN

solutions by stc, the leading enabler of digital transformation in Saudi Arabia and the region, has announced an open radio access network agreement with Mavenir, a cloud-native network infrastructure provider, to launch the first commercial open RAN network in Saudi Arabia. The announcement is a boost to stc Group’s strategic mission to deliver emerging technology to the Kingdom’s mobile customers, supporting the Vision 2030 digital transformation strategy.

The service is expected to go live commercially later this year. This decision follows the successful initial deployment of the multi-layer 4G and 5G NSA Access Network on the open RAN platform to stc, delivered in partnership with solutions by stc and Mavenir.

The newly launched multi-layered 4G and 5G radio network will utilize Mavenir’s 4G remote radio unit and 5G massive MIMO active antenna unit technology and leverage the cloud-native Mavenir Webscale Platform with fully containerized centralized unit and distributed unit software. The solution will run on an x86 commercial-off-the-shelf hardware platform that represents best-in-class technology for open interface radio systems. Mavenir will provide stc with a cloud-native deployment solution that harnesses a full combination of expert professional services, plus cutting-edge hardware and software, seamlessly integrated into stc’s radio network.

Yousef Almarshad, chief commercial officer of solutions by stc, said: “Mavenir’s open RAN technology innovation, together with solutions by stc, provides a strong foundation for this trail-blazing open RAN deployment, bringing next-generation performance and breakthrough services to stc’s valued customers across the Kingdom — going beyond data speeds to a more sustainable, secure and cost-effective network powered by Mavenir’s open RAN.”

B.G. Kumar, president, access networks, platforms and digital enablement at Mavenir, added: “Mavenir is extremely pleased to be awarded with the opportunity to build the first commercial open RAN deployment in Saudi Arabia in collaboration with solutions by stc. Mavenir is confident that stc’s open RAN network in Saudi Arabia will act as a catalyst for further accelerating operators’ digital transformation journeys across the Middle East region, ushering in a wave of customer-focused innovation that can fully leverage the unique potential generated by open standards and architecture.”


SFA-ROSHN partnership to drive community sports in KSA

SFA-ROSHN partnership to drive community sports in KSA
Updated 27 February 2024
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SFA-ROSHN partnership to drive community sports in KSA

SFA-ROSHN partnership to drive community sports in KSA

In its quest to provide more sporting facilities in the Kingdom, the Saudi Sports for All Federation signed an agreement with leading property developer ROSHN to establish and activate a new sports dome in SEDRA, ROSHN’s flagship project located in Riyadh. The agreement was signed at ROSHN’s offices by Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al-Saud, SFA president, and David Grover, ROSHN Group CEO.

The SFA is working to increase the numbers of those physically active in the Kingdom and has already introduced several sports domes across the country. This helps to remove the barriers for individuals in beginning their physical journey, providing a multi-sport facility, open all year round, with football pitches, basketball courts, tennis, volleyball, badminton, and more, plus a variety of sports programs. ROSHN is also a believer of enriching communities with high-quality lifestyle assets.

Other attendees from ROSHN at the signing ceremony included Executive Director Abdulrahman Maghrabi, Senior Director Fahd Alaswad, Associate Director Abdullah Al-Ruwayshid, Senior Manager Abdulrahman Alharran, Senior Manager Ghadah Alwesaimer, and Manager Ahmed Alshaqhaa.

From the SFA, the full list of attendees included Shaima Saleh Al-Husseini, SFA managing director; Ammar Alamro, director of marketing and communication; Abdoon bin Abdoon, senior marketing and communication manager; Abdulaziz Nasser Al-Badah, senior purchasing and contracts manager; and Naif Abdullah Al-Arrouj, community sports management.

Prince Khaled said: “The establishment and activation of the new sports domes, thanks to the land provided by ROSHN, exemplifies our commitment to providing accessible facilities to the Saudi community. The SFA sports dome facilities are testament to our dedication to removing barriers and increasing physical activity among residents.”

Grover expressed his excitement, saying: “We are thrilled to partner with the Sports for All Federation in bringing world-class sports domes to our developments. This partnership aligns with our commitment to driving community sports in the Kingdom and enhancing the quality of life for all, contributing to the Vision 2030 goals of a healthier and more active Saudi Arabia. This agreement is a testament to ROSHN’s dedication to enriching the lives of Saudi residents and communities through sports, partnerships, and our fully integrated new way of living.”

Mandated by Vision 2030’s Quality of Life program to increase the percentage of the population regularly engaged in physical activity to 40 percent by 2030, the SFA continues to develop partnerships that align with its mission. Since its establishment in 2018, the federation has pioneered various sporting initiatives, promoting the positive impact of sports on physical and mental well-being.

ROSHN, powered by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, is known for its commitment to achieving the Vision 2030 goal of 70 percent home ownership in the Kingdom. It equips communities with unique designs and a wide range of facilities.


Global government advisory firm Consulum boosts Saudi presence

Global government advisory firm Consulum boosts Saudi presence
Updated 27 February 2024
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Global government advisory firm Consulum boosts Saudi presence

Global government advisory firm Consulum boosts Saudi presence

Consulum, a global strategic government advisory firm that has been working in the Kingdom for more than a decade, has moved into their new state-of-the-art office and established their regional headquarters in Riyadh.

Riyadh, a thriving business hub and center of the region’s most ambitious growth plans, offers unparalleled opportunities for firms to contribute to the vibrant business landscape of the Kingdom. The decision to establish the regional headquarters in Riyadh underlines Consulum’s dedication to its clients and teams in Saudi Arabia and the region.

“Establishing our regional headquarters in Riyadh demonstrates our unwavering commitment to Saudi Arabia,” said Stuart Walker, chief operating officer of Consulum. “We’d like to thank the Saudi Ministry of Investment, whose invaluable support and expert advice were key to making our RHQ license a reality.”

The expansion to a new office marks a significant milestone in Consulum’s growth, further solidifying its presence in an important region and being more accessible to clients, partners and local talent. The office features the latest in communications technology, providing high levels of functionality for delivering workshops, seminars, training, and advanced coaching sessions.

“Located in the heart of King Abdullah Financial District, we’re even closer to our clients and immersed in their aspirations toward Vision 2030 and beyond,” said Nader Naamani, partner and head of Consulum Saudi Arabia. “The new office is a platform for us to continue collaborating, innovating, and celebrating success together.”

Consulum is a global strategic advisory firm working with government organizations and their leaders. With decades of working at the highest levels of government, Consulum’s specialists have the experience and expertise to help governments make a powerful and positive impact.