Pakistan seeks share of Saudi food market at Foodex 2017
The Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) in collaboration with the commercial section of the Consulate General of Pakistan in Jeddah is participating in the ongoing Foodex Saudi 2017, Saudi Arabia’s leading international trade exhibition dedicated to the food and drink industry.
The event started on Sunday and ends on Wednesday at the Jeddah Center for Events & Forums.
The exhibition was inaugurated by Prince Abdullah bin Saud, head of the tourism and entertainment committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry ( JCCI).
Consul General of Pakistan Shehryar Akbar Khan said promoting bilateral trade between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia is one of the foremost responsibilities of the Pakistani consulate. He said 11 Pakistani companies are participating in the exhibition and include the country’s top exporters dealing in rice, beverages, spices, bakery and confectionaries.
He said that while Saudi Arabia is the region’s largest food producer with 74.1 percent of the total products in the GCC, it imports more than $25 billion worth of food and beverage products each year to meet its rising consumption demands.
“With growing demand at an annual rate of 18.5 percent due to an expanding domestic market on account of the growing population and increasing annual pilgrimage, Saudi Arabia’s food and drink imports are likely to reach around $70 billion per annum in the next four to five years. Reliance on imports is also likely to increase as the Saudi government has decided to reduce wheat production to conserve water,” Khan said.
These developments, he said, offer a huge opportunity to Pakistani companies to further penetrate into the Saudi market and increase their market share. “Given the fact that Pakistan is an agricultural country, and more than 50 percent of its exports are agro- and textile-based, it has enormous potential to increase its exports by tapping into the halal food market of Saudi Arabia, which currently imports more that 80 percent of its total food and beverage requirements,” Khan added.
Commercial Consular Shehzad Ahmad Khan said the Pakistani consulate is extending its full cooperation to Pakistani businessmen to showcase their products in Saudi Arabia and benefit from the opportunities emerging out of the Saudi Vision 2030 to promote bilateral ties and investment.
Prince Abdullah bin Saud, head of the tourism and entertainment committee at the JCCI, and Consul General of Pakistan Shehryar Akbar Khan at Foodex Saudi 2017.