Al-Khobar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - Ten Saudi Arabian agricultural companies wants to make the Philippines their food production hub and distribution center in the Far East.
Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap, who accompanied President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in her two-day visit to this Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, made the disclosure in an interview with media yesterday.
The ten companies, Yap explained, formed the Far East Agricultural Co. (FEAC) as their investment platform for agri-business projects in the Philippines after a visit to the Philippines in May.
“We are determined to invest in the Philippines, which offers a bright business potential in agriculture,” said Sheik Mohammaed Al-Rajhi, FEAC head.
“We are especially interested in Mindanao. We want to be part of its social and economic development.”
According to Yap, FEAC representatives will visit the Philippines in November to firm up the trading and production of agricultural commodities with trading and venture partners.
The Philippines, Yap explained, was preferred by Saudi Arabian companies because of special bonds of friendship that exists between the two countries.
“Culturally, the Saudi’s are used to us. We have more than a million Filipinos here so they’re not alien to our culture, and definitely we are not alien to theirs,” Yap said.“They are also very much aware that we are an agricultural country. And with a coastline longer than that of the United States, we are strong in agri-fisheries. We are Saudi Arabia’s number one supplier of bananas, number four in pineapples, number two in sardines, and number three in tuna. They’re very much conversant with our products as well,” Yap added.