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Global Growth - Aquaculture Technology Middle East

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The Gulf region has had large ambitions within aquaculture for many years, but the development has so far been slow. This is now changing as the large sovereign funds in the region have started investing in the projects and the development is speeding up. Now is therefore the right time to focus on the region and join this program.

Norwegian version: Global Growth - Akvakultur-teknologi Midtøsten

The demand for seafood in the region is growing rapidly and the total demand is now greater than 1.200.000 tons a year. Today about 75 percent of the seafood is imported, 15 percent is captured and approximately 10 percent is farmed.

Great opportunities

The wild fish stock in the region has been declining due to bad water quality and overfishing of about three to five times the sustainable limits. The catch of wild fish is therefore expected to drop substantially in the coming years. Some of the countries also have ambitious targets to build a strong aquaculture sector and become self sufficient within some segments and even export seafood to other parts of the world. The sum of all these initiatives will require production about ten times higher than todays overall production in the region.

The government of Saudi Arabia has ambitious goals under their Vision 2030 and have an announced a goal of increasing their farmed seafood from approximately 100.000 tons to 530.000 tons by 2030. Studies have been done and the Red Sea can handle sustainable production of 1.000.000 tons a year. In addition Saudi Arabia has large areas of pond aquaculture and has started investing in more advanced RAS technology.

Within Saudi Arabia there are many projects now launched by the Soveriegn Wealth Fund; PIF; called Gigaprojects. Some of them have an ambition of establishing their own fish farms which will supply the cities with their own seafood. These projects are interested in the newest technology and have a high focus on sustainability.

The large investments will give good opportunities for Norwegian aquaculture technology companies throughout the whole value chain. Norway has also been approached by government organizations to come with delegations to the region to showcase our technologies and our capabilities.

The different projects announced focus mainly on species such as Seabass, Seabream, Grouper, Shrimp and Salmon. There is also a focus to develop aquaculture on new local species.

It is important to mention that relationship building is important in the region and that developing a long term strategy to position the company is important. When projects are announced one can be sure that it is already too late.

Who should join

We invite companies whom already have experience from the region, who have considered entering the region, or companies just interested in learning more about the marked opportunities in the region and then evaluate if it is the right region to prioritize.

It is important that the companies joining the program have a wish of building local networks and work actively to keep these networks alive. In addition the attendees should know that it takes time to position oneself in the local market and you are not likely to have a signed contract after your first visit. It requires time and patience.

It is also important to stress that an important success criteria for these type of programs are that companies are willing to share information and experiences between themselves and contribute to position Norwegian companies and technologies in a new market.

What you get

Participating companies will gather input and gain market insight in order to understand, evaluate and develop a new or improved export strategy towards the Gulf region. Your company will get the opportunity to explore the market opportunities, build new networks, meet potential customers, visit both established sights and sights under development.

The participating companies will get the opportunities to meet with local companies. In addition, we are planning to host the visits in connection with some of the mayor exhibitions in the region. We will conduct at least one market visit as part of the program, but we will also look at the opportunity to expand the program to other markets in the vicinity.


Recruitment process

If your company is interested, you should contact Innovation Norway by 27 April by the latest.

If we receive a large number of interests for the program we cannot guarantee all companies participation in the program. We will prioritize attendance according to the following criteria:

  1. Date for the company showing interest and signing up.
  2. The technological solution (optimal we would like companies with different technology solutions, and limit the number of companies having similar products)

We would like to inform that we have already had an information meeting and a dialogue about the program with some companies attending a small market visit in the beginning of the year.

Market visits and webinars

  • 24 April: Information session - program overview and Q&A (webinar)
  • 4 May: Pitch training session (webinar)
  • 8 May: Introduction meeting with attending companies/Presentation of the aquaculture industry in Saudi Arabia (webinar)
  • May: Pitch sessions 1 on 1 (before market visit)
  • 28 May-2 June: First market visit – Red Sea – Saudi Arabia
  • 4-6 June: Attendance at the SIMEC Exhibition (prolongation of visit 1)
  • 20 June: Follow-up of market visit 1 and next steps (webinar)
  • August: Delegation visit from the GCC to AquaNor – meeting with GG companies (TBC)
  • September: Preparation market vist 2 (webinar)
  • 8-20 October: Second market visit: the United Arab Emirates, Oman and visit to AGRA ME (TBC)
  • November: Whats next!
  • TBD: Potential Market visit 3/Closing of program

During the webinars (and seminars during the market visits) relevant topics will be taken care of based on the participants’ interest, such as: IPR, business culture etc.

We are planning for a physical program summary meeting in Norway. (TBC depending on where the participating companies are located.

Participation fee

NOK 30.000 + potential additional costs for exhibition and additional market visits

Questions? Please contact

Ahmad Hamdan
Bilde av : Hans Inge Bollingmo
Hans Inge Bollingmo
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