Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia (KJRI) in Jeddah City, Saudi Arabia, continues to open more opportunities for exporting Indonesian products to the country.

This step is taken in a bid to facilitate Indonesian products to meet the 30-percent food and beverage requirement of Indonesian pilgrims.

"We are targeting that in the next three years, we can fulfill 30 percent of the food and drink needs for our pilgrims," Indonesian Consul General in Jeddah Eko Hartono noted in a press release received here Saturday.

Hartono remarked that Indonesia has the largest number of Hajj pilgrims in the world, but, so far, only some 10 percent of Indonesian products are consumed by Hajj pilgrims.

In fact, food and beverages consumed by Indonesian pilgrims were valued to reach Rp500 billion.

To this end, the government continues to increase the use of Indonesian products in the supply of food and beverages for Indonesian Hajj pilgrims.

These efforts comprise holding the Indonesian Hajj Expo (IHE) on February 1-2, 2023, at Balai Nusantara of the Indonesian Consulate General in Jeddah, he remarked.

IHE was attended by 21 Indonesian exporters and nine importers of Indonesian products in Saudi Arabia. Some 40 catering service providers in Saudi Arabia also participated in the expo, Hartono stated.

"More than 300 visitors attended the 2023 IHE. Apart from Indonesian exporters, (the other attendees comprised) Saudi importers and Saudi caterers, the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) from Mecca and Jeddah, as well as representatives from the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture, and the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry," he remarked.

Hartono is upbeat that the meeting between potential suppliers of Indonesian products and users in Saudi Arabia would result in a trade agreement to meet the food and beverage requirements of pilgrims.

In addition, Indonesian exporters should be able to provide products aligning with the Saudi Food and Drug Authority's (SFDA's) requirements in order to become food and beverage suppliers for pilgrims.

"We have asked our entrepreneurs to continue the licensing process for other products to be able to enter Saudi Arabia and can be used for the pilgrims," he stated.

Meanwhile, a representative from the International Trade and Promotion Center of the Indonesian Consulate General in Jeddah, Rivai Abbas, stated that the use of Indonesian products for Hajj and Umrah pilgrims is still minimal.

"This can be seen, among others, from the number of products used during the Hajj season. Catering service providers still use products from other countries, such as Thailand, Vietnam, China, and others," he pointed out.

Abbas attributed this trend to the prices and quality of Indonesian products that were considered to be less competitive.

In addition, providers of consumption, transportation, and accommodation services for Hajj and Umrah pilgrims have not received information about Indonesian products, he noted.

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Translator: Asep Firmansyah, Resinta S
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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