Pakistan’s food exports to the UAE jump 27%

Asian nation’s revitalised food, beverage industry ‘ready for a major export push at Gulfood 2016’

Dubai: Food exports from Pakistan to UAE have increased by 27 per cent over the last two years, a senior official at the Pakistan Consulate General in Dubai said.

“Pakistan’s food and agro-sectors exports to UAE in 2015 have touched the half-a-billion dollars [Dh1.83 billion] mark, which compares extremely favourable to 2012 sales of $362.4 million,” said Dr Saeed Qadir, commercial counsellor at the Consulate General of Pakistan in Dubai.

He added that Pakistan has boosted sales of its traditional agricultural products while simultaneously expanding its reach into new product areas such as processed meat and poultry products, tea, concentrated milk and cream, certain fruits and vegetables, spices, herbs and confectioneries.

Major export push

Dr Qadir said that Pakistan’s revitalised food and beverage agricultural industry is now ready for a major export push at Gulfood 2016 — the 21st edition of the world’s largest annual food and hospitality trade event being held in at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from February 21 to 25.

More than 90 Pakistani companies are due to take part in a Gulfood 2016 International Exhibition.

The representation of Pakistani companies at Gulfood has grown from a mere 90 square metres in 2008 to 1,000 square metres this year, reflecting the emergence of a major exporting sector that is now challenging textiles as Pakistan’s main foreign exchange earner, with worldwide sales topping $5 billion last year.

The Pakistani pavilion — organised by the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), the Ministry of Commerce, in collaboration with Consulate General of Pakistan, Dubai — will showcase the customised stalls of major Pakistani brands.

Meat branding dinner

The US-Pakistan Agricultural Marketing Development, in collaboration with the Consulate General of Pakistan, Dubai, is hosting a Pakistani Meat Branding dinner on February 23, 2016 at the residence of the Consul General of Pakistan. It will set-up a business-to-business ‘Trade Facilitation Centre’ for matchmaking meetings between Pakistan agro-exporters and foreign buyers.

The Sindh Agricultural Growth Project is also supporting agro-sector growers and exporters from Sindh province, helping them showcase and market their products at Gulfood 2016.

Pakistani exhibitors will be looking to source new buyers for a wide range of Pakistani Food and agro-sector products including fresh and frozen foods, rice, fruits and vegetables, sauces, nuts, sweets, confectionery and tea by leveraging the country’s cost-competitiveness, lower transport costs and delivery time,

Leading export

Rice remains Pakistan’s leading food export to the UAE, with TADP figures showing sales to the UAE growing eleven-fold to top $207.8 million over the last two years.

Meat and processed frozen food is another important growth sector for Pakistani exports, crossing the $100 million-mark in the last three years.

Data released by global macroeconomic research firm, BMI International, shows Pakistan remains a buoyant market for consumer sales, as well as food and beverage investment. The firm is forecasting a 9.9 per cent per capita compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in food consumption until 2019, a 3.2 per cent per capita CAGR growth in domestic soft drink sales and a 9.5 per cent per capital CAGR in mass grocery retail sales.

The Pakistan pavilion at Gulfood 2016 will feature among 117 national and trade association pavilions — five more than last year — with first-time group participation on the part of Russia, Costa Rica, Belarus and Mauritius. New Zealand returns to event after a six-year break.

In all some 5,000 international companies from 120 countries and more than 85,000 food and beverage, wholesale, retail, distribution and hospitality professionals from five continents will take part in the event

Source: GulfNews. Date: November 30, 2016