Monday, January 6, 2014
A meeting between the Rice Exporters Association Pakistan (REAP) and the Saudi Agriculture & Livestock Investment Company (SALIC).
|Date:||January 06, 2014|
|Venue:||Pearl Continental hotel, Lahore|
The Chairman of REAP thanked the Saudi businessmen for their interest in the agriculture sector of Pakistan. He then stated that Pakistan has an agricultural based economy and is the third largest producer and 4th largest exporter of rice in the world. Pakistani rice contributes about 15% to the global rice trade. REAP is the second-largest exporter based body in Pakistan with over fifteen hundred members. The annual production of rice in Pakistan is 6.5 million tones, out of which 4.5 million tones are exported. He also said that rice is the most important staple food in Saudi Arabia; the Saudi workforce has increased its consumption from around 17 to over 32 kg per capita annually. In conclusion he said that the trade between the two countries should be enhanced, as Pakistan is already producing a great surplus and can easily export to Saudi Arabia.
Mr. Abdullah from SALIC gave a brief history of SALIC, which was established in 2008 by the Ministry of Finance of Saudi Arabia, on the executive order of King Abdullah. It was established in the aftermath of the food crisis that hit Saudi Arabia and in order to ensure food security in the country. He said that SALIC has already planned to invest in India and Pakistan in rice and red meat. SALIC aims not only to contribute towards ensuring food security in Saudi Arabia, but also to ensure food security on a global level. It intends to build a sustainable long-term trading relationship with Pakistan, as Pakistan is a strategic partner for Saudi Arabia
Mr. Waseem Hayat Bajwa from SALIC said that as most of the rice production and trade is conducted by the private sector, the private sector would play a vital role in ensuring that trade agreements are reached between SALIC and local Pakistani companies. He also elaborated Mr. Abdullah’s remarks regarding SALIC’s aims to contribute towards global food security and their wish to come to Pakistan as investors rather than traders.