Int’l firms target Gulf food market to boost business

DUBAI - Gulfood 2012, the premier event for food and hospitality industry, on Monday continued to attract government officials, trade visitors and investors seeking business opportunities in the food and beverage industry.

By Muzaffar Rizvi

Published: Tue 21 Feb 2012, 11:10 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 11:18 AM

While high-rank government officials used the platform to promote their local products, the trade visitors showed interest in national pavilions and stands set up by various companies to increase their customer base in the region.

Over 3,800 exhibitors from more than 88 countries showcased various products and expect trade deals worth millions of dollars with local and regional competitors during the four-day event.

On Monday, the UK Agriculture Minister Jim Paice said his country has great opportunities to sell more food and drink to the Middle East.

During a mission to promote British produce at one of Asia’s biggest food and hospitality trade shows, Paice backed the 60 UK companies exhibiting cheese, chocolate, crisps, curry and other British classics.

“From cheese to chocolate our foods are already known the world over for their quality. Successful, vibrant places like the Middle East represent a fantastic opportunity for growth,” Paice said.

The focal point of Paice’s visit to Dubai was to the Gulfood trade fair, which is regarded as the premier event for food and drink exporters seeking new sales in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. The visit was part of a UK government-backed drive launched last month to boost exports of British food and drink to high growth markets to generate significant economic growth and jobs.

Ambassador of South Africa to the UAE Yacoob Abba Omar, who was present at Gulfood Expo, also highlighted the increasing export trends between the two regions.

“Gulfood is a fantastic opportunity for the hard working food producers of South Africa to showcase their world class products to a high-level food industry audience. Since Middle Eastern countries import most of their food products, food security is naturally an issue that South Africa is well positioned to provide support with as part of a mutually beneficial relationship,” Omar said.

The UAE is of great importance to South Africa and is considered one of the top five countries, which contribute to South Africa’s GDP and exporting activities; equating to a total bilateral trade between both at approximately $1 billion.

Singapore companies unveiled more than 40 new products at the event. The Singapore pavilion represents the largest range of new-to-region products ever to be brought to the trade exhibition in Singapore’s 12 years of participation.

Emirates General Petroleum Corporation, or Emarat, stand attracted visitors, especially from investors seeking opportunities to secure franchise rights to Emarat’s trade names ‘Freshplus’, ‘Bakeria’ and ‘Cafe Arabicca’, all of which are participating in the exhibition under one roof.


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