Seven Pak firms explore food market in the Gulf

ABU DHABI — Pakistan makes foray at SIAL Middle East to explore Gulf food market and boosts its exports by attracting local and regional players participating in the region’s premier food fair, which opened on Monday at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

By Muzaffar Rizvi

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Tue 22 Nov 2011, 11:02 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 5:17 AM

Seven Pak firms are attending the three-day event for the first time and display their full range of products at Pakistan pavilion. The exhibitors will be meeting the local food importers and regional players to explore the market, which is expected to cross $50 billion by 2020.

“Pakistan has emerged as an important player of food supplies to the UAE and the Gulf region particularly in rice, meat, poultry, sea food, fruits and vegetables and spices. We hope that SIAL Middle East will facilitate our exhibitors both in product and geographic diversifications,” Pakistan Ambassador to the UAE Jamil Ahmed Khan told Khaleej Times.

The second edition of SIAL Middle East is expected to welcome 12,000 trade visitors with an exhibitor line up of more than 500 food, beverages and equipment manufacturers and suppliers. Argentina, China, Italy, Iran, France, Pakistan, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Tunisia, UAE, UK and United States also set up national pavilions to exhibit their food products to make inroads to the region striving hard to ensure food security amid rising inflation across the globe.

According to a new research, the GCC states will spend $53.1 billion by 2020 on food imports to feed growing population. The region, spent $25.8 billion on food imports last year, depends heavily on imports of agriculture and food products. The food consumption in the GCC will rise at the rate of 4.6 per cent annually during 2011-15 and reach 51.5 million tonnes per year during this period.

The UAE imported food products to the tune of $5 billion last year and its food import bill is expected to hit $8.4 billion by 2020. Pakistan’s exports of food products to the GCC region stand at $1 billion and the UAE shares around 50 per cent of the total bill. Appreciating the premier event, Pakistan Ambassador to the UAE said SIAL food fair has become a truly international brand. “We feel pleasure to be part of the food event for the first time. We welcome valued visitors to Pakistan pavilion who will have a chance to meet with our leading food suppliers during the three-day event at this dedicated business platform in the thriving region of Middle East.”

Pakistani exhibitors will display rice, juices, pickles assorted, edible oil, fresh fruits and vegetables, syrups assorted, wheat flour and flour products among others. The exhibitors will be meeting the local importers and indenters and will explore the UAE market by offering their products at a competitive price to the Emirati and international community living in the UAE and the GCC region. According to Pak Embassy officials, Pakistan has potential to double its food export to the UAE by adding value to its products. “Our average unit price of food exported items is comparatively lesser than most of the competing countries, but we need to do value addition by establishing brands in the region,” an official seeking anonymity said.

“SIAL Middle East offers a solid platform for companies seeking research and keen to enter the region’s food, beverages and hospitality market,” he concluded.

More news from