The Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) led a trade mission for Philippine food products in Saudi Arabia on 01-07 March 2013. The business mission, which visited the cities of Riyadh, Al Khobar and Jeddah, promoted Philippine grocery food stuff such as canned goods, snacks, noodles, and ice cream, as well as fresh fruits like banana, pineapple and papaya.
The business delegation was headed by DTI’s Atty. Paisal Abdullah, Trade Service Officer, and Ms. Grace Demdam, Outbound Business Coordinator for the Middle East. They were joined by representatives of nine (9) private food distribution companies in the Philippines, namely:
- Marigold Manufacturing Corporation
- Market Reach International Resources Corp.
- Philippine Grocers Food Exports Inc.
- Gemfood International Inc.
- Raspina Tropical Fruits
- Republic Biscuits Corp. (REBISCO)
- Amarich Marketing International
- Monde Nissin Corporation
- Kwality Philfood Inc.
The business mission started on 2-3 March in Riyadh in collaboration with the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI). Ambassador Ezzedin H. Tago graced the meeting between the members of the Philippine delegation and their Saudi counterparts. During the occasion, Ambassador Tago also met with the RCCI officials and local businessmen to discuss enhancing trade and investment relations between the Philippines and Kingdom. While in Riyadh, the delegation conducted market sensing at Riyadh supermarkets.
The group proceeded to Al-Khobar where they conducted similar meetings with Saudi businessmen on 4 March under the auspices of the Asharqiah (Eastern Region) Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Asharqia Chamber Board Member Mr. Abdullah Almajdouie welcomed the Philippine delegation and hoped that Saudi Arabia’s current trade and cultural relations with the Philippines will be further strengthened as more than half a million Filipinos live and work in the Kingdom, whose loyalty and experience have won the hearts of Saudi employers.
In response, Ambassador Tago noted the vibrant relationship between the Philippines and the Kingdom and made a pitch for the Philippine tourism campaign under the tagline “It’s More Fun in the Philippines”. “Although we have a lot of world-class tourist attractions, the number of tourist from Saudi Arabia has yet to reach satisfactory level”, Ambassador Tago added. The Ambassador cited the Puerto Princesa Underground River and Boracay as examples of must-see Philippine tourist attractions.
The Ambassador also introduced the Philippine Government’s public-private program (PPP) which is seen a vehicle to implement infrastructure projects in cooperation with foreign and local investors. He urged Saudi investors to participate in the PPP projects of the government.
The Philippine business delegation made the last stop in Jeddah on 5- 6 March, where they are scheduled to meet with officers of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry and have a business-to-business (B2B) meetings with their Jeddah counterparts .
The group is also set top conduct market sensing, products promotion and merchandize tours involving Jeddah food markets, such as the Jeddah International Market (SARAWAT) and the Star Supermarket in Sultan Mall.
The trade delegation will depart for Manila via Dubai on 7 March. END