The Saudi Arabian company Battlah Cooperation for Operation and Maintenance said it would carry out the first import of rice from Indonesia.
The statement was conveyed on the sidelines of the signing of the MoU on trade cooperation between his company and state-owned company PT Sang Hyang Seri (Persero).
The signing of the MoU was held virtually on Monday, June 15, 2021, between the President Director of Battlah Cooperation, Muhammad Husein, and the Director of PT Sang Hyang Seri, an employee of Gunarso, in the Meeting Room of the Indonesian Consulate General (KJRI) Jeddah.
The signing of the MoU was witnessed directly by the Indonesian Consul General in Jeddah, Mr. Eko Hartono, Commercial Director of PT RNI (Holding BUMN Food), Frans Tambunan, and Head of ITPC Jeddah Muhammad Rivai Abbas.
In his remarks, the Indonesian Consul General in Jeddah, Eko Hartono, gave input to PT Sang Hyang Seri so that the price of rice to be exported would not be too far from the price side with its competitors, namely Thailand and Vietnam.
The MoU on the cooperation to purchase rice is also the first step for Indonesia’s mainstay commodities which have huge opportunities in the Saudi Arabian market, such as cocoa and spices.
“This first export of rice will be used as a stepping stone to later be expanded to other products. Apart from rice, they (Battlah Corporation) also import cocoa beans, then spices, coffee and tea,” said the Indonesian Consul General (Consul General) Jeddah.
As conveyed by the Head of ITPC Jeddah, rice is the staple food of the Indonesian people. With many Indonesians living in Saudi Arabia, plus Indonesian hajj and umrah pilgrims who consume rice daily, the entry of Indonesian rice into Saudi Arabia in this pandemic condition is the right step.
Director of PT Sang Hyang Seri, Employee Gunarso, expressed optimism that the MoU signed by the two companies would be a good start to increase the scale of cooperation between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia, particularly the supply of the needs of pilgrims from Indonesia for Hajj and Umrah.
Therefore, PT Sang Hyang Seri stated that it would be committed to maintaining the quantity and quality of rice production as the company’s first export product to the Saudi Arabian market.
In terms of price, explained Employee Gunarso, rice from Indonesia can be slightly higher than the price of Thai and Vietnamese rice because it has superior taste.
To broaden the scope of this cooperation, the President Director of Battlah Corporation proposed to immediately form a special team that can move quickly and establish intensive communication to follow up on the framework of this trade cooperation.
Both parties agreed to immediately follow up the Memorandum of Understanding towards the signing of the Commercial Agreement in the next few days.
“Of course, as a businessman in Saudi Arabia, what we prioritize is quality and (competitive) price. We are frankly open to you gentlemen, we have explored a number of cocoa and spice producers. However, if this cooperation goes well, we will choose cooperation with Indonesia,” said a spokesman for the Battlah Corporation.
Battlah Cooperation for Operation and Maintenance is a company headquartered in the Holy City of Mecca. The company is engaged in trading and general contracting which includes import, shipping, distribution and marketing.