The UAE’s food re-exports rose by more than 16.5 per cent last year to hit Dh8.1 billion ($2.2 billion), according to official data released by the Ministry of Foreign Trade ahead of a major food expo in Abu Dhabi.
The 'SIAL Middle East 2011,' one of the biggest food events, is being held in strategic partnership with Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority and will run from November 21 to 23 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.
According to the ministry's report the UAE’s re-exported food items had presence in 140 markets around the world.
Iran, Afghanistan, Somalia, India, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait clinched 73.2 per cent share of the UAE’s total food re-export market valued at Dh5.9 billion.
The top food commodities, constituting 70.8 per cent share of the food re-exports were cereals; edible fruits and nuts; peel of citrus fruit or melons; miscellaneous edible preparations; sugars and sugar confectionary; edible vegetable and certain roots and tubers.
Juma Al Kait, assistant undersecretary - Foreign Trade Affairs, UAE Ministry of Foreign Trade, said it was extremely positive to see year-on-year growth in the re-export figures.
'Non-oil foreign trade plays a significant role in the overall development of the UAE economy and these results complement our diversification strategies that aim at reducing dependence on oil revenue,' he noted.
Re-exports account for 25 per cent of the UAE’s total foreign trade and maintains its position as the second largest contributor after exports throughout the past ten years to reach Dh185.9 billion in 2010 – up by Dh38.2 billion from 2009.
Food re-exports have constituted 4.3 per cent of the country’s overall re-exports in 2010.
“SIAL Middle East helps us assess the expansion possibilities of the food industry and develops trade potential across the region, giving access to both existing and new markets,” said Al Kait.
Mohamed Jalal Al Reyaysa, ADFCA's official spokesperson and the chairman of the higher organising committee for SIAL ME, said the rise in UAE food re-exports was reflective of the increasingly dynamic nature of the country's food industry.
'The significance of internationally recognised events such as SIAL Middle East needs to be understood in the context of these trade dynamics,” Al Reyaysa stated.
“The advanced food safety infrastructure that ADFCA and other food monitoring authorities in the country put in place is meant to complement the spurt in trade. It creates and sustains an environment for dynamic trade that meets international standards and specifications in every area of the food industry,” he noted.
The event brings together professionals involved in buying and selling food products, services and equipment in addition to the latest innovations in the food industry. More than 12,000 trade visitors from 80 countries are expected to attend this year.
SIAL ME will host over 500 exhibitors and 14 national pavilions from Turkey, Argentina, Korea, China, Taiwan, Iran, France, Italy, Vietnam, Thailand, United States, Pakistan, Tunisia and the UAE.-TradeArabia News Service
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