Russian Agricultural Exports to Saudi Arabia May Exceed $2 Billion by 2024
The Minister of Agriculture of the Russian Federation Dmitry Patrushev paid a working visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as the head of the delegation, which represents the largest Russian companies in the grain, meat and dairy and confectionery industries. He opened the Business Mission of Russian companies and held talks with the Minister of Energy of the Kingdom - co-chair of the Russian-Saudi intergovernmental commission Khaled Al-Falih. A meeting was also held with the Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture of the Kingdom Abdulrahman Al-Fadley, at which the parties discussed prospects for increasing the supply of Russian agricultural products to the Saudi market.
As Dmitry Patrushev noted at the opening ceremony of the Russian business mission, by the end of 2018, agricultural products accounted for about half of bilateral trade amounting to $500 million. At the same time, Saudi Arabia imports almost $20 billion worth of food annually, and Russian companies are interested in increasing supplies to the kingdom.
At a meeting with Energy Minister Khaled Al-Falih, Dmitry Patrushev said that Saudi Arabia is the first largest food consumer among the Arab Gulf countries, and Russia will make every effort to increase its share in this market.
The Minister praised the effectiveness of cooperation on state regulation of the supply of Russian wheat to Saudi Arabia, one of the priority export positions of the domestic agro-industrial complex, noting that the existing potential in trade has not been exhausted. The development of cooperation in the agricultural sector, among other things, will be facilitated by an increase in the number of Russian suppliers of poultry meat to the kingdom, so the Russian side counts on a positive decision on the accreditation of new poultry enterprises under the guarantees of the Russian regulator - Rosselkhoznadzor.
The interests of Russian exporters in the Saudi Arabian market relate not only to crop and livestock products. Among other things, this is the supply of honey and milk, as well as confectionery, flour and other products.
Dmitry Patrushev emphasized that countries also need to develop investment cooperation. The Ministry of Agriculture of Russia is ready to provide support to Saudi businessmen wiling to take part in the implementation of projects in the Russian Federation related to agricultural production. Such projects will contribute to the growth of supplies to the kingdom. The positive attitude and constructive interaction of representatives of the business community of the two countries that took part in the negotiations within the framework of the Business Mission prove significant potential and agricultural cooperation outlooks.
At a meeting with Abdulrahman Al-Fadley, Dmitry Patrushev emphasized that agriculture is one of the key areas of interaction between the two countries, and it has every opportunity for further development. “We propose developing a joint program to expand the export of Russian food products to Saudi Arabia so that the export volume of Russian agricultural products exceeds 20 billion US dollars by 2024”, Mr. Patrushev concluded.