Müller: Training co-operation agreed with Saudi Arabia

Saudis hold out the prospect of market opening for German breeding cattle, cattle genetics and beef

Saudi Arabia is very interested in training co-operation with Germany in the field of agriculture, stated the Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Agriculture Minister, Dr. Gerd Müller, yesterday in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

In his talks with the Agriculture Minister Sulaiman Balghunaim, the secondment of Saudi plant directors to Germany was agreed. In Germany they will be given an opportunity to gain extensive insight into German training and research in the fields of agriculture and food. The Chairman of the German Milk Industry Association, Karl-Heinz Engel, who took part in the discussions, also talked to the Saudis about German milk production and processing.

Furthermore, Balghunaim welcomed the fact that Germany had been officially recognised since last year as BSE-controlled and held out the prospect of opening the Saudi market to German breeding cattle, cattle genetics and beef. According to information from State Secretary Müller, Saudi Arabia imports almost 85 percent of its food. Germany exported agricultural and food products worth approximately Euro 330 million to Saudi Arabia every year. Because of the rapidly growing population and usable agricultural land of only 1.8 percent of the total country area, a major increase in imports is very likely. Furthermore, the high purchasing power in the country offers good opportunities for German exporters, particularly in the area of processed food, dairy technology, processing plants, breeding animals and genetics. Müller and Engel are of the opinion that the same holds for high-grade dairy products.

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