Saudi Arabia hosts Pakistani construction companies in Jeddah
The meeting discussed ways in which Saudi Arabian firms could export their products to the Asian country
A Pakistan business delegation of construction and food companies are said to have met with Saudi Arabian companies in Jeddah to boost the kingdom’s non-oil exports.
According to Arab News, 30 Pakistani and 86 Saudi food and construction companies met at the Saudi Export Development Authority (Seda) trade mission on 13 January 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 Saudi Arabia's Deputy Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, Abdul Aziz Al-Abdul Karim.
The two sides were said to have discussed aspects of joint cooperation.
Speaking on the Jeddah trade mission, Shahzad Khan, the Pakistani commercial consul in Jeddah, reportedly said: “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.”
According to data provided by Arab News, total non-oil exports from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan during the past five years were valued at $4.5bn (SAR17bn), with more than $97.2m (SAR365m) alone for building and construction materials during the same period.
Seda was set up specifically to strengthen Saudi Arabia’s non-oil export sector, a critical aspect of the kingdom’s Vision 2030 long-term diversification programme.
Saudi Arabia’s non-oil revenue has more than doubled between 2014 and 2018 to $76.5bn (SAR287bn), as reported by Construction Week in December 2018.
The latest news is indicative of deepening economic ties between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Both countries reportedly finalised an agreement earlier this month to build a multibillion-dollar Saudi Aramco oil refinery in Gwadar, a city in the Balochistan province.