On 7-12 November 2017, agriculture and rural development Commissioner Phil Hogan will continue his series of diplomatic offensives promoting EU agri-food products with visits to Iran and Saudi Arabia. Accompanied by a delegation of senior representatives from European food and drink companies and producer organisations, Commissioner Hogan's visit aims to enhance cooperation between the EU and the two Middle Eastern countries and further develop bilateral trade in the sector.
Saudi Arabia is already the EU's sixth biggest export market for food and drink products, with sales there reaching €4.6 billion in 2016. With a growing population, rising disposable incomes and as a net food importer, its market potential for European agri-food producers is becoming increasingly important.
Even though EU-Iran trade in agri-food products is currently limited, the so-called nuclear deal with Iran has enabled a significant increase in bilateral exchanges in the past year. The potential for increasing trade in European food and drink goods is important, taking into account its growing economy, its population of 80 million, and the fact that it is now an aspiring WTO member.
The business delegation that will accompany Commissioner Hogan will represent sectors with the most potential for trade and cooperation with Saudi Arabia and Iran. For Saudi Arabia, this includes poultry and beef meat, fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables, and cereals, among others. Similarly Iran's key sectors are meat, cereals but also food and feed additives and olive oil for example.
Phil Hogan has made promoting Europe's broad range of quality food and drink products a key part of his portfolio. Previous visits include Canada earlier this year, as well as Colombia, Mexico, China, Japan, Vietnam and Indonesia in 2016.
28 June 2017