JEDDAH: The first edition of an Indonesian products exhibition was inaugurated by Indonesian Consul General Dr. Mohamad Hery Saripudin and Vice Chairman of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ziad bin Bassam Al-Bassam, on Wednesday.
The four-day exhibition, “Made in Indonesia Expo,” is being held at the Jeddah Center for Forums and Events and joined by 70 Indonesian exhibitors, aiming to increase non-oil and gas exports to Saudi Arabia.
Indonesian products and services of trade, tourism and investment are being exhibited at the Indonesia Expo this year. In addition, business forum and business-to-business meetings on a one-on-one basis are also being conducted on the sidelines of the event.
“The exhibition being is held for the first time after several decades as a result of close cooperation between the Indonesian Consulate General in Jeddah, Jeddah’s Chamber as well as related Indonesian ministries and institutions in the development of national exports,” said the Indonesian consul general.
PT Wahyu Promo Citra, an event organizer, is hoping the exhibition will bring together Indonesian producers and Saudi suppliers.
Along with “Made in Indonesia Expo,” the Indonesian government has carried out an official trade mission led by the director general of national export promotion at the Ministry of Trade.
The consul general is optimistic that the Indonesia expo in Jeddah and trade mission are a golden opportunity for Indonesian entrepreneurs to expand the market for Indonesian products in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East.
“At (the) least, there are two large market segments here, Indonesian residents and Saudi citizens,” the consul general said, adding that there were more than 221,000 Hajj pilgrims and 1.2 million Umrah pilgrims from Indonesia each year visiting the holy land, not including the more than 350,000 Indonesians living in the Kingdom.
“They are all loyalists of Indonesian products,” said the consul general, adding that the influx of Indonesian pilgrims opened opportunities for local catering and accommodation services that need Indonesian products.
The population of Saudi Arabia, which reaches more than 30 million people, also offered potential market opportunities, he said.
Exposure of Indonesian products through this exhibition is expected to increasingly attract Saudis to do business with Indonesia and at the same time invite more tourists from the Kingdom to visit Indonesia.
“People-to-people contact of Indonesia and Saudi Arabia has long been established, even before the two countries were formed, which contributes to the introduction of the Indonesian products and increasing interest of the people of Saudi Arabia in the products,” the consul general said.
Saripudin said that the potential of the large Saudi market could be seen from the improving performance of Indonesia’s non-oil and gas exports to Saudi Arabia. At the end of 2017, these exports reached $1.38 billion, up 3 percent compared to the same period in 2016, and there was a trade surplus of $627 million.
The solo exhibition for Indonesian products is a series of Indonesian promotional programs in Jeddah organized by the Indonesian Consulate. Not long ago, the Indonesian Consulate General in Jeddah launched a technology-based service.
This platform is a starting point to digitize the Indonesian integrated promotional programs in Jeddah in facing the growing challenges.