Faiz Ahmed Kidwai
"SITEX 2012 is a rightly timed show to put up a good spectrum of display of Indian Industries and help the country to prove its strength and image. It will help develop a sense of confidence of Saudi and Middle Eastern buyers in the Indian industries and will also promote the much needed, FDI confidence from the Middle East for India. As four new cities are coming up in Saudi Arabia, hence every sector is in demand there, but if we talked about immediate benefits, then I think, primarily the Infra Service providers might take the lead in conferring benefits. But very soon shall other segments catch up. I am very positive that all categories will find a good number of relevant business visitors and response. In fact, I feel the word about the exhibition is going around pretty fast in Saudi Arabia," says Mr. Faiz Ahmed Kidwai, Consul General of India -Jeddah in an interview with Maria R.

Considering the economic uncertainties around the world; how do you see the business opportunities in Saudi Arabia?
As we all know that the Saudi Arabianmarkethasbeen revolving around Oil for long, which is a Cash Reserve. There should not be any hesitance in saying that the world has moredependence on Saudis than they do. To an extent, they areindemnifiedfrom these uncertainties. It is a stable economy. Its recent liberalized economic policies and unprecedented ambition of development, convert it into a booming economy.

What is the potential of Indian manufactured goods and services in the Kingdom?
In recent view of growth, the quality awareness in production and international competition, the Indian goods should find a better acceptance in Saudi Markets.

What particular sector has really great potential?
Four new cities are coming up in Saudi Arabia wherein every Sector is in demand. Vitally, Infrastructure Development Companies, Healthcare, Education and all related services should get immediate business.

DATE is organizing India Solo show from December 4-8, 2012 in Jeddah, where Consulate General of India is supporting the show, and CII is the partner. How in your understanding, will this show help the Indian industry to penetrate the booming Saudi market?
No big Indian show has been organized in Saudi Arabia for years. SITEX 2012 is a rightly timed show. The organizers are very passionate to put up a strong show. We have a good spectrum of display of Indian Industries, this exhibition will help India prove its strength and a change of image. It will help develop a sense of confidence of Saudi and Middle Eastern buyers in Indian Industries. This will also promote, the much needed, FDI confidence from the Middle East to India.

As lot of big infrastructure development projects are going on in the Kingdom; would you say that this show is coming at the right time;and which sector would this show be most helpful, to get good opportunities in that market?
Well, it will be unfair to limit the benefits to any specific category, but if we talked about immediate benefits, then I think, primarily the Infra Service providers might take the lead in drawing benefits. But very soon shall other segments catch up.

What is the potential of this type of show having mix exhibitors profile?
Your question points out as if it is a demerit to have many categories on ground. On the contrary, I think it is a strength. It all depend on how the event organizers are arranging for B2B meetings and conferences. At Consulate, we are offering them full support. I am very positive that all categories will find a good number of relevant business visitors and response. In fact, I feel the word for the exhibition is going around pretty fast in Saudi Arabia.

What is the role of Consulate in promoting the show?
A total supportto the Event Organizers.We will also ensure that all participants coming from India feel at home here. Hope they will enjoy their visit. We are doing our best to get the best possible representation of our Industries.

To have a successful show, visitorship is a most critical component; what are the channels and media, Consulate with the organizer is considering to use to bring quality visitors?
We had a meeting with the Event Organizers - DATE. They seem to have ambitious plans for all this coverage. Talks are underway. I think all possible channels will exploit to the best. We are very optimistic. Details should be there with us in a month or so.
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