Thu, 30 March 2023
The Daily Ittefaq

Bangladeshi companies seek to tap into Saudi market

Update : 22 Feb 2023, 14:05

Bangladeshi companies are set to showcase their products at a three-day expo in Riyadh starting from Wednesday as they hope to boost exports to the Saudi market.

A private sector delegation of 30 companies, including from Bangladesh’s garment and pharmaceutical sectors, will be in the Saudi capital from February 22-24 to take part in the 2023 Bangladesh Products Exhibition, reports Arab News.

Bangladesh has been working to tap into the Saudi market since last year as the South Asian country aims to increase its presence in the Middle East. In October, the Export Promotion Bureau under the Bangladeshi Ministry of Commerce held a trade and investment fair in Riyadh.

“Our target is to explore export potentials for ‘Made in Bangladesh’ goods in the Saudi market,” Khandaker Redwanur Rashid, managing director of expo organizer Only Entertainment, told Arab News.

This week’s event in Riyadh is organized by the private sector with government support. Bangladesh Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi is scheduled to inaugurate the expo on Wednesday.

“We have planned to introduce our manufacturers with Saudi buyers through this expo,” he said.

“The manufacturers will have the opportunities to hold B2B meetings and boost their exports in the Kingdom.”

Dhaka currently has an insignificant stake in the Saudi market, with Bangladeshi exports to the Kingdom worth about $300 million in 2021.

The country’s trade portfolio is dominated by the garment sector — the top industry in Bangladesh, employing more than 4 million people, contributing over 11 percent of the country’s gross domestic product and accounting for 80 percent of exports.

More than a dozen garment manufacturers are taking part in the Riyadh expo this week.

“There are huge opportunities in the Saudi market,” Zahid Hassan, managing director of Zain Apparels and a standing committee chairman of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, told Arab News.

“In recent times, European countries have been witnessing financial hardships. On the other hand, Gulf countries are booming in terms of their economies. If we can showcase our products properly to buyers in the Kingdom, it will yield many orders from this expo,” Hassan said.

The success of the event in Riyadh might lead to similar expos in other Middle Eastern countries, including Jordan and the UAE, he added.

The Saudi market’s potential is also attractive to Bangladesh’s pharmaceutical industry.

“Currently, we don’t have any presence in the Saudi market,” Abu Musa of leading pharmaceutical company Square Pharmaceutical told Arab News.

Musa, who is a senior manager at Square’s international marketing department, said his company is hoping to meet all the regulatory requirements required by the Kingdom but will first focus on engaging potential buyers.

“We are participating in the expo aiming to explore the market and find new suitable buyers from the Kingdom,” Musa added.

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