Equipping Saudi exporters to find new markets

29 May 2017
ITC News
Riyadh workshop trains exporters, officials to use ITC market analysis tools

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia –

Saudi businesses and trade officials are better equipped to find international market opportunities, after being trained in the use of the International Trade Centre’s market analysis tools.

ITC conducted a 4-day training workshop in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia from 8-11 May. Twenty participants from various Saudi enterprises as well as the Saudi Export Development Authority, the country’s trade promotion organization, learned how to use ITC’s market analysis tools to explore international demand patterns, potential competition and market access conditions.

During the workshop, which was hosted by Saudi Exports, as the agency is also known, participants were encouraged to look at international market trends and requirements for products of interest to them, which included stainless steel kitchenware, refined maize oil, gypsum board and evaporator coolers. They designed market profiles combining trade data with other business indicators to help would-be exporters make objective choices about which foreign markets to target. Rigorous hands-on exercises reinforced participants’ capacity to use the trade intelligence to weigh the relative merits of different target market segments in light of demand and price trends, potential competitors, and packaging and branding requirements.

“The best thing about this workshop is the high level of interaction,” said Ramzy Hafez, who works for ACFA Building Solutions, an exporter of cement building materials.
Another participant, Abdulmajeed Alhawwas of petrochemicals firm Global Company for Chemical Industries, successfully contacted a potential importer in the United Arab Emirates using the company listings in Trade Map’s company data, highlighting the practical utility of ITC’s database. He reports that the Emirati importer has expressed interest in purchasing from his firm.

The workshop also served as a networking opportunity for participants, some of whom are now exploring ways to do business together in the future.

Saudi Exports officials expressed interest in intensifying cooperation with ITC, especially in the areas of capacity building, data provision and business intelligence. The workshop was held under the framework of the Aid for Trade Initiative for Arab States (AfTIAS), a multi-donor programme coordinated by the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC).