Prince Khalid Bin Saud Bin Turki, Deputy Chairman of Technical Affairs Presidency of Meteorology and Environment, inaugurated the 2nd edition of the four-day Foodex Saudi 2014 international exhibition at Jeddah Centre for Forums & Events on Monday night.
Foodex kicked off Monday with “Senior Buyers Program” to connect the top local and international exhibitors providing competitive prices of import purchase options for over 200 Saudi importers.
The exhibition is being held under the auspices of Ministry of Agriculture and hosts’ 300 local and international exhibitors from 28 countries.
Talking to newsmen, Prince Khalid said: “The exhibition would contribute in establishing a national food industry in order to avoid market fluctuations and impacts of climate change in addition to other factors.”
Highlighting the importance of diversifying countries of import, Prince Khalid said: “The significance of Senior Buyer initiative launched to connect markets abroad and to purchase with competitive prices would be reflected on Saudi market status. Such successful programs could lead to acquire commodities at least 20 percent cheaper.”
While inaugurating of Foodex Saudi 2014, Prince Khalid expressed his contentment in the exhibition that represents a panoramic platform on the recent innovations and developments of food industry, which witnesses a remarkable diversity of tastes.
Later, Prince Khalid opened the Pakistani pavilion. Consul General of Pakistan Aftab Khokher and Commercial Consul Abdul Wahab Somro were also present.
Talking to Saudi Gazette, Khokher said: “This is a very important exhibition and 14 Pakistani companies are participating in the event. They have put on display very good quality products from rice to spices and all kinds of edibles.
“We are hopeful that this will give an impetus to promote trade in food sector, which is growing at a rapid pace. Saudi economy’s very active component is the food market and it is all import based. I hope our traders, exporters and manufacturers will be able to explore this sector effectively.”
“I’m very positive of the growth of more Pakistani consumer items here as this market has all the potential,” said Khokher.
“I see that Saudi businessmen are very sharp and wherever they see the potential, they do not hesitate from making an investment. So, I’m sure they will look at the products and demands in Saudi market and they will be attracted and convince to go to Pakistan not only to import products but also to invest in Pakistan,” he said.
Commercial Consul Somro added: “We are very happy to have two exhibitions in succession during this month. There are 14 food exporting companies from Pakistan taking part in this expo. Pakistani rice is the biggest food item exported to Saudi Arabia, representing 15 percent of the Saudi market.”
“We are encouraging the Saudi government sector to make more investments in agriculture and food sectors in Pakistan,” he said.
Meanwhile, Rooney Haddad, director of the exhibition at Reed Sunaidi Exhibitions and the organizer, said: “Foodex Saudi second edition seeks to perpetuate the achieved success in its first edition last year.”
In light of verified needs and consumption increase at a rate of 5 to 6 percent annually, Haddad described investment opportunities in Saudi market as promising. He pointed to the diversity of activities during the four-day exhibition hosting Salon Culinary competition with 150 chefs and judged by a panel of experts creating a state of interactivity among visitors and chefs.
Haddad called for Saudi food industry experts to benefit the various activities offered by the exhibition to establish strong partnerships with international companies seeking presence in the Saudi market with high purchasing capabilities and set a serious food industry during the next phase.
A version of this article was originally posted in the Saudi Gazette on Nov. 18, 2014.SHOW MORE