Pakistan seeks share of Saudi food market at Foodex 2017

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.
Updated 14 November 2017

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.

KAUST honors 243 students at graduation ceremony

Updated 17 December 2018

KAUST honors 243 students at graduation ceremony

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) awarded 243 master’s degree and Ph.D. candidates with their diplomas during its ninth commencement ceremony on the KAUST campus on Friday. 

The ceremony was presided over by members of the KAUST Board of Trustees, including Board Chairman Khalid A. Al-Falih, minister of energy, industry and mineral resources and chairman of Saudi Aramco, and attended by senior KAUST leadership and faculty members. 

Commencement 2018 highlights included the official inauguration of KAUST’s third president, Dr. Tony Chan, and conferral of the university’s first honorary doctoral degree to Ali Ibrahim Al-Naimi, former chairman of the KAUST board of trustees, former minister of petroleum and mineral resources and commencement 2018 speaker. The event also included remarks by 2018 student speaker and KAUST Ph.D. graduate Nada Aljassim, the first KAUST Gifted Student Program participant to receive her Ph.D. from the university. 

In his chairman’s address, Al-Falih said the event was “an occasion … to mark a number of milestones and celebrations … In the past year alone, KAUST has … achieved important advances in research, education, innovation and talent, all while making an impact … in Saudi Arabia and globally.” 

“KAUST has taken its place on the world’s scientific and academic landscape,” Al-Naimi said. “Ideas and innovations (from KAUST) … make a difference when they soar above our nation and around the world.” 

“As a university, we are looking forward to our next decade,” said President Chan, a member of the university’s Board of Trustees for seven years. “In my new position, I am really looking forward to the opportunity and challenge and becoming engaged with Saudi society in general.” 

President Chan noted one aim of his presidency is “to align KAUST’s mission with the Kingdom’s priorities — and in particular Vision 2030. The Kingdom is moving to diversifying the economy and toward innovation and technology, which align with KAUST.” 

Chan said: “We have formed a NEOM Center of Excellence at KAUST with the express purpose of working together with NEOM. One of our senior faculty members, Professor Carlos Duarte, is on the advisory board for the Red Sea Project. We have a KAUST Red Sea Research Center and we are located next to the Red Sea, which is a treasure for the Kingdom. We consider it one of our missions to support the projects going on in the Kingdom.” 

“KAUST is still very young, but we see ourselves as contributing to the innovation and economic development of the country and the development of human talent,” he added.