Ministry of Foreign Trade: Promising Opportunities for UAE Food Exporters

Abu Dhabi: The Ministry of Foreign Trade (MOFT) has announced that the UAE’s food manufacturing industries are achieving rapid growth and are witnessing an increase in their exports, which are penetrating many world countries.

MOFT said that the country’s world-renowned dates and dates products, which are produced in accordance with the high food manufacturing standards adopted in the UAE, are leading this regard.

Mr. Mohammed Nasser Hamdan Al Zaabi, head of the Trade Promotion Department at the Ministry, said in a press release issued today on the occasion of the UAE’s preparations to participate in the 2012 Ningxia International Investment and Trade Fair’ in China that the successes achieved in developing the national food manufacturing industry have been substantial considering the country’s arid environment. He said that this was the result of the UAE’s wise leadership’s support of this strategic sector.

He added that the progress witnessed in the UAE’s food manufacturing industry, which has been aided by various national entities and institutions such as the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) in cooperation with companies such as Al Foah’ date manufacturing company, Royal Dates’ and Emirates Dates’ that have all received international recognition as leading dates producers, will provide a solid foundation for showcasing the UAE’s unique food manufacturing standing at the fair, which is expected to attract over 3,000 exhibitors from around the world and 300,000 visitors.

Al Zaabi commended the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority’ for their decision to participate in the event, which is scheduled to begin next week in the predominantly Muslim western Chinese province of Ningxia. He also expressed his appreciation of their support and patronage of the Middle Eastern edition of the global SIAL’ food exhibition.

Al Zaabi also underlined the Emirate of Dubai’s ability to organize the mega food industry event Gulfood’, an event, he said, that “clearly demonstrated and affirmed the many promising opportunities for investors in the UAE’s food industry, which also benefits from an ideal geostrategic location and a flourishing export and re-export industry”.

According to official figures, the UAE’s food exports grew by ten percent over the past two years from AED 15.8 billion in 2010 to UAE 17.5 billion in 2011.

Moreover, in 2011, the food industry constituted 2 percent of the UAE’s AED 927.6 billion in total foreign trade, 5 percent of the its non oil exports, 2 percent of its imports and 1 percent of its re-exports.

Foreign trade in food industry products between the UAE and China has risen by 15 percentage points from 2010 – 2011 reaching AED 291.2 million.

Mr. Mohamed Jalal Al Reyaysa, Director of the Communication and Community Service Department at the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, said that the authority’s participation in the UAE delegation to the fair and forum at Ningxia comes within the framework of implementing the directives of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of the ADFCA.

Al Rayaysah added that the Authority is keen on participating in these events in order to better convey the Emirate of Abu Dhabi’s achievements and the UAE’s as a whole in the food industry and to familiarize the participants with the country’s ancient heritage and with one of its most important food products; the date, which “is regarded as an important food product in terms of its nutritional value and is a cultural symbol that Emiratis are proud to produce”.

The Authority’s branch in the UAE pavilion will include the booths of various UAE date producing companies who will showcase their food products with the aim of opening and exploring new marketing avenues and increasing their investment potential with attending companies and businessmen from China and elsewhere.

Al Reyaysa pointed out that Sheikh Mansour’s vision and directives have played an integral part in the UAE’s winning of “best marketed product” in the 2012 SIAL expo that took place in China earlier this year, adding that HH was always interested in promoting the country’s date products and ensuring that they were highly competitive in international markets, thus contributing to increasing the world’s interest in them.