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Pakistan Pavilion stirs excitement at Riyadh food expo, spicing up international culinary scene

Saima Shabbir

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s top diplomat in Saudi Arabia said on Thursday his country’s pavilion at a three-day international food exhibition in Riyadh which concluded on October 31 fetched a tremendous response and led to wide appreciation for Pakistani spices and other ingredients.

The InFlavour Expo 2023 brought together renowned international chefs, leaders in the global culinary industry, and a large number of investors to discuss critical challenges, such as food security and agricultural sustainability, under the overarching theme of “Securing Abundant Tomorrows.”

The event was organized in partnership with the Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture and featured over 400 exhibitors who shared innovative dishes and food products from around the world with people visiting the venue.

“Thirteen companies from Pakistan participated in the event and exhibited their products which included high-quality grains, meat, spices, organic products, beverages, oils, pickles and fresh products,” the Pakistani envoy, Ahmad Farooq, told Arab News.

“It had been a delight to attend the InFlavour Exhibition,” he added. “The Pakistani companies received great response and were able to build appreciation for Pakistani food products.”

Pakistan’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia Ahmad Farooq (left) visits Pakistani stall at InFlavour Expo 2023 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on October 29, 2023. (Courtesy: Pakistan mission in Riyadh)

The ambassador informed the exhibition was well organized, reflecting the commitment and professionalism of everyone involved. He also pointed out that his country viewed Saudi Arabia as an important market for food products and beverages.

“As we know, the development of agriculture and food industry is an important priority in Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030,” Farooq said. “For Pakistan, it remains the backbone of our economy.”

He noted that Pakistan was also reforming and restructuring its agriculture and food industry, adding there was a huge potential for collaboration and broad-based cooperation with Saudi Arabia in this area.

“I would encourage more Pakistani companies to visit Saudi Arabia and participate in such exhibitions as this not only offers an opportunity to showcase the potential of both nations but also serves to deepen the brotherly relations between our two countries,” he said.

Speaking to Arab News, Nasib Ahmed Saifi, chief executive of Lahore-based Saifi Group of Companies that has been exporting frozen halal meat products to the kingdom for the last 18 years, described his experience at the InFlavour Expo as rewarding.

A representative of Pakistani food company briefs visitors about the products at InFlavour Expo 2023 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on October 29, 2023. (courtesy: Nasib Ahmed Saifi) 

“Our participation in the InFlavour Expo proved to be a highly successful experience, as we received an overwhelmingly positive response from the Saudi public,” he said.

“We were able to develop several new clients for our products during the event,” he continued, adding that Saudi Arabia had become a very attractive market for the whole world.

Syed Farhan, who oversees international business at Faisalabad-based Kisan Foods, said his organization attracted a lot of interest from visitors at the expo.

“It was an invaluable exposure for our Pakistani companies as we received a promising response from the Saudi market, indicating the vast potential of Pakistani products,” he told Arab News.

Courtesy: arabnews