Mexican Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Foodstuffs (Sagarpa) José Calzada Rovirosa is slated to head up a 70-member delegation of government officials and agro businessmen to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) later this month.
The main purpose of the visit, which will run from May 13 through May 20, will be to promote Mexican agricultural products in the Persian Gulf region, where water is scarce and most food products are imported.
During a lavish sit-down dinner offered for Calzada Rovirosa and his team Monday night at the home of Kuwaiti Ambassador to Mexico Sameeh Essa Johar Hayat, the Sagarpa head, who served as governor of the state of Querétaro before assuming his current post in 2015, pointed out that while Mexican combined trade with the region currently amounts to more than $2.7 billion annually, agricultural goods make up less than half the bulk of that commercial interchange.
Calzada Rovirosa said that the agricultural mission, which will include two Mexican chefs, who will present food festivals in each of the four Arab countries in order to showcase Mexican cuisine and produce, will help open new markets for the nation’s re-blossoming agricultural sector.
In 2014, Mexico exported almost $26 billion in agricultural goods, and the industry is set to replace oil as the nation’s largest legal export sector this year.
For his part, Ambassador Hayat, noted that in the last two years several Islamic countries have either opened or expanded their diplomatic missions in Mexico in an effort to broaden bilateral cooperation in all fields, including trade and investment.
The agricultural delegation visit comes on the heels of a historic visit by President Enrique Peña Nieto to the region in January of this year.