Food & Beverages Manufacturers Business Group Meeting
As part of its efforts to serve its members and the overall business community, the Food & Beverage Manufacturing Business Group, operating under the auspices of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, elected its executive committee during an election meeting held at the Dubai Chamber head office recently.
The committee members elected Mr. Saleh Abdullah Lootah, Managing Director of Al Islami Foods as Chairman, Mr. Tarek Al Sakka, General Manager of Dubai Refreshments (PSC) as Vice Chairman, of the Business Group.
During the election meeting, the committee also discussed the ways to revitalise the functioning of the Group to emerge as a main voice for their sector, especially the food industry, in light of the challenges faced by their business.
The members also used the meeting to seek appropriate solutions to their issues and pressed for a consensus to work towards taking the food sector to higher levels of performance.
In his welcome address, Mr. Hassan Al Hashemi, Director External Relations, Dubai Chamber, stated that the reactivation of the Group’s role is a good sign for the food and beverage manufacturing sector as this will not only promote growth of the sector but will also allow the members to coordinate and follow up on the issues faced by their sector.
Mr. Al Hashemi further stressed that the food sector in the country is going through a period of positive growth with expected food consumption compound annual growth forecast of 5.11% from 2006 to 2015 and per-capita forecast for food consumption compound annual growth of 3.07% during the same period. He also pointed out the food consumption growth expectation this year is 4.9%.
On his part, Mr Lootah said that the main challenges facing the food sector in Dubai includes the high cost of doing business, fixing of food prices by the Ministry of Economy as well as curbs on exports to certain foreign markets. The newly-elected Chairman added that his team will work jointly to find solutions to the common challenges faced by the Group.
He pointed out that the Group’s priority now is to increase the membership and to bring non-members to its fold. Mr Lootah further stressed that currently there are about 2,500 food companies operating in Dubai and in light of the Emirate’s idealistic location we are expecting to attract more investors to the food sector as it is one of the leading drivers of the economy in the country, he said.
Mr. Lootah lauded the strategic role played by Dubai Chamber in providing the required assistance to the business community while conveying their concerns and issues, in this case those of the food and beverages manufacturing group, to the relevant government authorities.
He assured the gathering that the executive committee of the Group will intensify its activities in the near future by holding frequent meetings with its members and by sharing best practices and experiences with them which he said will help further enhancement of their sector as well as serve the common interest of all its members.
According to a Business Monitor International (BMI) forecast this year’s expected value of food consumption of AED 27.8 billion in the country is expected to grow by 5.2% to reach the value of AED 29.3 billion next year.