Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Investment has inked a cooperation agreement with the kingdom’s National Centre for Waste Management to boost investment prospects in the waste management sector.

The agreement was signed in the presence of the Minister of Investment, HE Eng Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al-Falih, and the Minister of Environment, Water, and Agriculture, Eng Abdul Rahman bin Abdul Mohsen Al-Fadhli.

Preliminary estimates indicate that more than 53 million tonnes of waste are produced in the kingdom annually, including municipal solid waste, demolition, and construction waste, medical and industrial waste, and others, which reveals the size of the large investment opportunities that this sector promises.

In addition, the large population growth rates in the kingdom; the industrial and urban boom in all cities and regions; and the rising standards of living and increased spending power in the kingdom is expected to lead to a significant increase in the production of waste.

The Minister of Investment stressed that signing the agreement is the first step towards cooperation, and pointed out that collaborative work will help transform the challenges in the industry into investment opportunities and enhance the country’s development.

Al-Falih pointed out that the Ministry of Investment will work to strengthen the strategic partnership with the National Centre for Waste Management through this agreement to coordinate and unify efforts, find solutions to the challenges facing investment in this sector, and improve the investment environment in it in order to contribute to the recycling industry and waste management programmes.

The Minister of Environment, Water, and Agriculture explained that the signing of this agreement will contribute to achieving the strategic objectives of the waste management sector in the kingdom; activating the principle of circular investment in waste facilities management; establishing the integration work between all relevant sectors; and building capabilities for the growth of information in this field.

Saudi Arabia has carried out a number of structural reforms in the Saudi economy, and launched a group of emerging sectors, including the waste management sector that aims at integrated economic and environmental sustainability, by increasing the efficiency of waste management, establishing comprehensive recycling projects, and reducing all types of waste pollution.

According to the state-run Saudi Press Agency, the National Centre for Waste Management aims to manage, regulate, and monitor the waste management sector in the kingdom, in addition to stimulating investment in the sector and improving its quality by setting standards, controls, and technical requirements for integrated waste management activities.