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Privatisation of flour milling companies in Saudi Arabia

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Dry Bulk,

The National Centre for Privatisation & PPP (NCP) and the Saudi Grains Organisation (SAGO) announced on Thursday 17 September, the completion of the privatisations of the First and Third flour milling companies. This involved a competitive tender process for the shares of two of the four milling companies to strategic investors. The formal signing of the final contract took place at the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture (MEWA) headquarters in Riyadh, in the presence of H.E. the Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of SAGO, the Chairman of the Privatisation Supervisory Committee for the environment, water and agriculture sector, and a member of the Board of Directors of NCP.

H.E. the Minister, MEWA, Abdulrahman A. Al-Fadley, affirmed that this privatisation is a historic event which starts a new era in food security in the Kingdom. He noted that the sale of the flour milling companies will help to enhance competition and improve operational efficiency in the sector. It will also help to increase the diversity of high-quality flour products in the local market and improve service standards to customers. Moreover, it will support the government's efforts to achieve food security and develop the local market. The privatisation helps to realise the objectives of the Kingdom's Vision 2030, which seeks to raise the contribution of the private sector to the GDP, maximise the benefits derived from government assets, and attract local and international investments.

H.E. the Chairman of SAGO, Eng. Ahmad A. Al-Fares, pointed out that SAGO will become the regulator of the milling sector and main supplier of wheat, barley and other grains to the privatised milling companies. SAGO is adopting a flexible regulatory framework that seeks to align the requirements of the Kingdom's food security, product quality, consumer experience while achieving fair investment returns for the private sector. SAGO also seeks to develop, qualify and train employees in the sector, create incentive benefits and stimulate new job opportunities in flour milling companies for the national workforce.

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