JEDDAH: Thirty Pakistani and 86 Saudi food and construction companies met at the Saudi Export Development Authority (SEDA) trade mission on Sunday to discuss and explore opportunities to export Saudi products to Pakistan.
The meeting was attended by the Secretary General of SEDA, Saleh Al-Sulami and Deputy Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, Abdul Aziz Al-Abdul Karim.
The two sides discussed aspects of joint cooperation and ways to enhance trade and economic relations between the two countries.
SEDA was set up to develop non-oil exports.
“This is a great opportunity for local exporters to hold several deals to develop their exports and open up new markets for their products, thus achieving better access of national products to the Pakistani market,” said the Pakistani commercial consul in Jeddah Shahzad Khan.
“In SEDA, we started to promote Saudi products through many channels, one of them is having such a trade mission. We started this year from Pakistan,” said SEDA Secretary General Al-Salumi.
“In 2018, we scored remarkable growth —we have achieved around SR220 billion,’’ he added.
The trade mission reinforced SEDA’s efforts to support local exporters and promote their products and services to expand in international markets, translating the Saudi 2030 vision and its objectives to increase non-oil exports from 16% to 50% of total GDP and diversify sources of income for the national economy.
The mission is an extension of the historical economic and trade relations between the two countries. The total non-oil exports from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan during the past five years has reached SR17 billion, with over SR191 million for food exports and more than SR365 million for building/construction materials during the same period.
“We hosted a delegation of only seven importers from different regions of Pakistan, as well as 31 businessmen from Pakistan’s major importers. The objective is have a growth in exports to Pakistan,” said Al-Sulami.
Pakistan is an opportunity for Saudi exports to reach other parts of the world such as Central Asian countries that are difficult to be reached directly and may be costly.
“We are working on establishing a Saudi import and export bank that will play a major role in providing appropriate financial ways for Saudi exporters,” said Al-Sulami.
Agreements and meetings will continue till January 14.