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Restrictions by countries during Covid-19 pandemic to be key factor for future investments: UAE minister

Waheed Abbas/Dubai
Filed on June 22, 2020 | Last updated on June 22, 2020 at 07.27 pm
coronavirus, covid-19, Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri

The UAE imports around 90 per cent of its food to cater the needs of over 200 nationalities residing here.

Many countries put up restrictions on exports of food products during the coronavirus pandemic and this will be a key factor when it comes to investing in foreign countries to ensure that investments are not blocked in future during such a crisis, said a UAE minister of Monday.

"A lot of countries do come to us and say we have land and logistics channels, so why don't you invest in our country. There are a lot of back checks that we have to do. One is that B2B deals should make sense, whether they are profitable. Secondly, what we have seen in this (Covid-19) crisis is that many countries suddenly put up restrictions. Some of them were announced at WTO and some were not. We need to make sure that whenever we do an investment abroad. in an emergency situation, we should be able to access those investments as well," said Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, the UAE's Minister of State for Food Security.

"What we have seen here is that moving forward, people will look into how that country reacted in the crisis and whether it makes sense to invest there or not. So they will be looking at a lot more factors than they we have been looking at so far," the minister said during a webinar hosted by Gulfood.

The UAE imports around 90 per cent of its food to cater the needs of over 200 nationalities residing here.

The minister said the country intends to increase production of vegetables, fish, goat, poultry and egg as it more viable option commercially, while country will continue to import and store grains, sugar and oil due to the cost factor.

She also pointed out that going forward, the UAE will be ramping up domestic production.

"Since the UAE is a hub for food trade, there has been over 25 per cent increase in exports and re-exports in the last few months and this shows how we are also catering to the needs of the region," said Almheiri.

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