Goody the first Saudi company to launch food trade with Iraq in 30 years

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Goody signed the agreement with Iraqi National Company in Jeddah on April 10.
Goody signed the agreement with Iraqi National Company in Jeddah on April 10.
Goody has signed an agreement with the Iraqi National Company to become the first Saudi food firm to enter the country in nearly 30 years.

The Jeddah-based food company and part of the Basamh Trading and Industries Group said it will customise some of its products to suit local tastes.

With around 38 million potential consumers who spend half of their income on food, Goody aims to “obtain a share equal to half of our Saudi business”​ in five years’ time, said Khalid Temairik, CEO of Basamh.

In the initial stage, Goody will introduce staples such as pasta, date spread, iced cofique, pasta sauces, burger sauce, tuna and canned food in the Iraqi market.

The partnership is set against the backdrop of warming relations between Saudi and Iraq in recent years.

Following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990, relationship between Iraq and Saudi Arabia deteriorated, with the latter shutting its embassy and closing its borders along Iraq.

The first signs of easing tensions started in 2015, when Saudi Arabia reopened its embassy in Iraq.

This year, Saudi Arabia has even set a target of 23 billion Saudi Riyals (Dhs22.5 billion) worth of trade with Iraq throughout the next 10 years, according to a report by The National.

With improved ties between the two countries, Khalid Temairik said that the company is “delighted to be the first Saudi company to conduct food trade in Iraq as part of the new commercial relations between the two countries.”

On the other hand, Dr Abdulmotalib Alathari, Iraqi National Company CEO and Managing Partner described the signing of the partnership as “a historic day in developing trade relations”​ between the two countries.

“As one of the largest distributors and marketers of food products in Iraq, we will use our advanced capabilities and do everything in our power to bring the family together on a dining table featuring delicious foods produced by Goody.”

The signing ceremony was attended by senior management of both companies, as well as representatives from the Saudi Exports Authority.

Regional expansion

Goody started working towards its entry into the Iraqi market last October.

Together with 59 other Saudi companies, it took part in the 44th edition of Baghdad International Exhibition as part of the new economic and political openness between the two countries.

Other than Iraq, Goody said it is keen to work with other Middle Eastern states and Africa.

In 2016, Goody entered the UAE market​ by signing a distribution deal with Gulfco, one of the UAE’s largest food and FMCG distributors, with the latter distributing products to more than 400 modern trade stores and 500 traditional trade outlets. 

The commercial cooperation with Iraq is part of Saudi’s initiatives to develop export opportunities based on the National Transformation Program 2020 and the Kingdom's Vision 2030, said Omar Rajeh, ​Saudi Exports Development Authority Advisor to the Secretary General.

He added that Saudi was seeking to improve the export environment, develop non-oil export capacities and increase the competitiveness of its products.

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