Middle East ministers to attend water technologies forum


Singapore : Ministers from six Gulf countries plan to meet providers of water management solutions from South-East Asia, India, China, Japan, Australia and Europe, organizers in Singapore said Thursday.

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The forum on June 25 is part of the city-state’s International Water Week, a global platform from June 23 to June 27.

Ministers from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, Oman and Bahrain are scheduled to attend.

“The forum will put water solution providers in the same room as the people making key decisions on major water projects in the Middle East,” said Michael Toh, general manager of International Water Week, an annual conference and trade show.

“Water companies will be able to meet and network with key officials from the different countries of the Middle East.”

Representatives of the UAE, Qatar and Bahrain are expected to make further progress in negotiating pacts with Singapore’s environment and water resources ministry to facilitate cooperation in the water and environmental sectors.

With their burgeoning populations enjoying only a fifth of what the rest of the world does in terms of per capita available renewable water, the countries of the Middle East and North Africa are likely to spend heavily on the water sector, with about $117 billion in investments forecast over the next decade, Toh said.

Saudi Arabia, the biggest market, plans to invest $28 billion in its water and wastewater sector over the next 10 years.

“Facilitating water solutions across borders” is what the event is about, Toh noted.