Bid to boost Thai goods in Saudi stores
The Commerce Ministry has teamed up with luxury retailer Manuel Market and LuLu Hypermarket to boost Thai exports to Saudi Arabia.
Speaking after opening a Thai trade fair at Manuel Market's Park Avenue branch in the Saudi capital Riyadh, Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said he expected the value of Thai products imported by Manuel Market, a leading Saudi department store and supermarket, would increase to US$30 million, or about 1 billion baht, this year.
Last year Manuel Market, which currently operates 12 branches in major cities such as Riyadh, Jeddah and Jubail, imported Thai products worth $22 million.
Thai products available at Manuel Market's branches include rice, vegetables, fruit, canned seafood, canned fruit, sauces, condiments, and pet food.
In a related development, Mr Jurin said the Thai government and private delegations had also met Shehim Mohammed, director of LuLu Hypermarket, to increase opportunities for the latter to add more Thai products in its stores.
The two sides have also agreed to work together to build trading networks between the two countries and organise trade promotion activities for Thai products with department stores in order to introduce such goods to Saudi consumers.
LuLu Hypermarket, under LuLu Group International, is well known for importing consumer products from Europe and Asia.
The retailer imports more than 1,700 products from Thailand, such as rice, vegetables, fruit, canned seafood, canned fruit, sauce, seasoning, pet food, household items, and clothes.
LuLu Hypermarket currently has more than 224 branches worldwide, including in Asian countries such as India, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Saudi Arabia is currently Thailand's 29th-largest export market. In the first six months of this year, trade between Thailand and Saudi Arabia was worth 152.6 billion baht, up 52% from the same period in 2021.
Exports from Thailand were worth 30.9 billion baht, up 20.9% from the first six months of last year, while imports amounted to 122 billion baht, up 63.2%.
Key exports from Thailand included automobiles and auto parts, wood and wooden products, air conditioners and parts, rubber products, and canned and processed seafood.
The main imports from Saudi Arabia were crude oil, chemicals, fertiliser, pesticide, finished oil, and metallic minerals.