Foodex Saudi 2018 to host 600 global brands

Foodex Saudi is Saudi Arabia's leading international trade exhibition dedicated to the food and drink industry.
Updated 26 August 2018
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Foodex Saudi 2018 to host 600 global brands

The 6th edition of Foodex Saudi will take place at the Jeddah Center for Forums and Events from Nov. 12-15. The event will host 600 international brands, including 12 Spanish brands, and companies from more than 32 countries, in addition to influential Saudi food importers, distributors, and investors. 

Veronica Puente, international director of Spanish Food and Drink Federation (FIAB), said the 12 Spanish companies participating in the event are from the fields of oils, mineral water, meat and frozen products. They are seeking opportunities in the Saudi market, the largest in the Arab and Gulf region.

“The Kingdom is an interesting market and is the largest food importer in the Gulf region, with 65 percent of the region’s total consumption. Spanish food and agricultural product imports to the Kingdom represented 15 percent of the total imports in 2016, with a value of €266 million ($320 million), 10 percent more than the previous year. We anticipate reaching SR2 billion ($533 million) in the coming year, which reflects the deep trade relationships between the two countries and the great knowledge of Spanish products that guarantee high added value and quality, which receives wide response from Saudis,” said Puente. 

Jose Ramon Godoy said the Spanish pavilion will display a wide variety of known beef brands, as Spain has over 115,000 livestock farms, 250 slaughterhouses and 150 cutting rooms and warehouses, as well as filleting and packing plants.

He said: “The Saudi market is one of the best Arab and global markets. A country with a high purchasing power, which recognizes the quality of the best brands and desires to buy products that guarantee natural production and food safety. Spain offers meat of young animals ranging between 12-24 months, which are fed on cereals and green pastures.”

Shahzad Ahmad Khan, Pakistani commercial consul in Jeddah, said the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) will participate in the exhibition.

“We have been participating for many years and last year was the best participation as our 11 companies showcased leading brands in different sectors such as rice, bakery and confectionery, beverages, cosmetics, herbal products, spices and juices.

“The main reason to participate was the extraordinary support of the Reed Sunaidi Exhibitions, which acted like a partner for us.”

Haya Al-Sunaidi, chairwoman of Reed Sunaidi Exhibitions, said the exhibition is an outstanding trade platform for suppliers from around the world to compete over their share in the largest food market in the Gulf and Middle East region.

Mohamed Talaat, show manager, said that the wide participation of European, Asian, and Arab countries proves the event’s importance and that there is a high demand for diversity in the local food market. 

According to recent statistics, the Kingdom imports about 70 percent of its food and spends about SR87 billion annually (CDSI).


Emirates NBD opens branch in Alkhobar

Updated 20 September 2018
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Emirates NBD opens branch in Alkhobar

Emirates NBD, a banking group in the Middle East, has expanded its presence in the Kingdom with the opening of its first branch in Alkhobar in the Eastern Province. Emirates NBD now covers three key regions in Saudi Arabia with a presence in Riyadh, Jeddah and Alkhobar. 

As Saudi Arabia progresses plans for economic reform, in line with its Vision 2030, Emirates NBD’s presence builds on the growing economic and trade ties between Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Following the establishment of the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council, the UAE and Saudi Arabia recently announced The Strategy of Resolve, a joint vision for economic development through 44 joint strategic projects within a five-year time frame. 

UAE-based Emirates NBD is the first non-Saudi bank with a significant branch network across the Kingdom. The bank offers retail, private, business and wholesale banking across its network of three full-fledged branches in the Kingdom, in addition to corporate finance advisory, project and syndicated finance through Emirates NBD Capital KSA, the bank’s investment banking arm.

Emirates NBD also operates in Egypt, India, Singapore, and the UK with representative offices in China and Indonesia. 

“Our presence in Saudi is integral to Emirates NBD’s growth strategy as we continue to explore opportunities in the GCC region’s largest and most dynamic economy,” said Hesham Abdulla Al-Qassim, vice chairman and managing director of Emirates NBD. 

“Saudi Arabia is in the midst of a landmark economic transformation and we look forward to continuing to support Saudi individuals and businesses looking for a trusted banking partner.” 

Emirates NBD recently renewed its partnership with the Kingdom’s Kafalah Program, which aims to promote financing to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) within the country.

Loai Abduljawad, CEO of Emirates NBD KSA, said: “Emirates NBD’s expanded network strengthens our offering to individuals and corporates in Saudi Arabia looking to invest and trade across the MENA region and beyond. Our superior value proposition, built on the bank’s unique ‘high tech + high touch’ philosophy of offering customers a modern banking experience complemented by personalized advisory services, will enable us to strengthen customer acquisition in the Kingdom as we continue to support the country’s long-term growth and development goals, as outlined in Saudi Vision 2030.” 

Emirates NBD is a leading banking group in the region. As of June 30, 2018, its total assets were 477.5 billion dirhams, ($130 billion). The group has a significant retail banking franchise in the UAE and is a key participant in the global digital banking industry, with over 90 percent of all financial transactions and requests conducted outside of its branches. The bank was declared the “Most Innovative Financial Services Organization of the Year” at the 2017 BAI Global Innovation Awards.