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).