Trade Mission Dutch Fish Federation to Saudi Arabia

This trade delegation was part the EU trade program, aimed at identifying potential business opportunities by visiting relevant retailers and distributors. The delegation also met with Saudi governmental entities, and gained insights of the fish market and seafood products.

The delegation was headed by Mr. Mike Turenhout, Director of Fisheries, at the Dutch Fish Federation. Besides the Dutch companies, the delegation consisted of representatives of the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) & the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO).

The visit of the delegation was coinciding with The Saudi Food Show that held its first edition in Riyadh, KSA, from June 20th-22nd. At the Netherlands pavilion, organized by Orange Exhibition Management, the Dutch Fish Federation had a booth, but also other Dutch companies were exhibiting. Several taks with interested parties took place and meetings were held. 

Netherlands Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Paul Huijts, visited the Saudi Food Show on its first day, and opened the Netherlands Pavilion accompanied by Ambassador Janet Alberda and the Agricultural Counsellor Erik Smidt. On the second day of the visit, the delegation was invited at the Embassy of the Netherlands for a networking event for the food sector.

Besides participating in this leading food & beverage exhibition, the delegation made several field visits to explore the current Saudi fish & seafood market; starting with retailer Lulu Hypermarket that has one of its biggest seafood sections in Riyadh Avenue Mall, where the group saw a variety of frozen and fresh fish and seafood products. They also visited the local and wellknown fish market of Riyadh, where mainly locally caught or farmed fish was sold. Besides that the delegation visited SAMAQ, a showroom were locally farmed fish (shrimp, tilapia and caviar) is processed, presented and sold. SAMAQ aims to increase the awareness among the Saudi population about the importance of having sufficient fish in their diets.

The delegation also held meetings with government entities such as the Fisheries department of the Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water, and Agriculture (MEWA), and the Ministry of Investment (MISA). At MEWA the Dutch trade delegation, together with the Netherlands Embassy's Agriculture & Food department, met with Dr. Ali Al-Sheikhi, the Director-General of the Fisheries Department. Opportunities in cooperation in local production and processing were discussed during the meeting.

Meeting Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water, and Agriculture, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and Dutch Fish Federation

A team of MISA welcomed the delegation at their Head Quarters in Riyadh, where extensive presentations were given on the topics of the Saudi investment climate, the Regional Headquarters Program, and market information for the food sector where the fish and aquaculture sectors were specified. An interactive discussion took place about the possibilities of exporting more Dutch seafood products to KSA, but also about the opportunities in the field of processing, temperature controlled logistics and  knowledge exchange. The Dutch delegation expressed their wish to increase its market access in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Throughout the program, the delegation of the Dutch Fish Federation increased its visibility with various governmental and private sector stakeholders. A meeting with the Saudi Food & Drug Authority is still to take place in July, with the purpose of increasing market access of the Dutch Fish Federation and to be able to export more fish and seafood products to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia