100 French companies at Gulfood 2011
France: a major food and equipment supplier in the Middle East
Middle East (including Egypt) increased significantly in 2010, with a €1.525bn turnover and a 45% rise compare to 2009.
The three major markets in the region for French food & beverage exports are Egypt with 36%, KSA (25%) and the UAE (13%). If we consider only the GCC, KSA and UAE are the main markets with 59% of the market. They have respectively imported for €374m and €197m in 2010. Historically French exports to the Middle East were essentially made up of poultry and dairy products. Today, French producers are offering a diversity of products, with also significant exports of apples, biscuits and chocolates, fine products like foie gras, oysters, caviar, tapenades, dips, condiments, mineral water and other beverages…
French food exports to the Middle East Import market shares from France in the region
Country 2009 2010 Evo. 10/09
U.A.E 171 197 15%
Saudi Arabia 225 374 66%
Barhein 14 14 0%
Egypt 347 556 60%
Jordan 33 40 21%
Kuwait 29 37 28%
Lebanon 89 154 73%
Oman 33 42 27%
Qatar 24 29 21%
Syria 84 82 -2%
Total 1049 1525 45%
French Customs, 2011
This growth is in line with the expanding Middle Eastern food service market as it continues to develop rapidly due to a rising population, purchasing power, and a strong hospitality sector. 90% of food items in the GCC are imported and French food products benefit from an excellent reputation (image and quality) in the Middle East.
Moreover, Dubai has a strategic position in the region and is a real trade hub. About 50% of food imports are re-exported to 160 countries including the Gulf countries, the Indian subcontinent, North Africa and East and Central Asia. Therefore, Dubai is one of the largest re-exporters in the world thanks to its efficient infrastructures (ports and airports) associated with large free trade zones.
Both agriculture and the agrifood industry are huge assets of the French economy, making France one of the world's leading producers and exporters of food and beverages. Agriculture and food industries in France account for about 13% of the value-added of French industry as a whole. This industry employs 557,000 and generates a value-added of €31.7 billion. The agrifood sector in France is the leading industrial sector with a €148bn turnover. It accounts for 1.7% of French GDP and 7.1% of total French exports.
France is also the 5th largest exporter of equipment for the food industry, and is therefore among the leading global providers. France’s strength is its presence on all major food industry markets, especially with French companies exporting machines and equipment for bakeries, milk and meat industries. For instance, France is the first supplier of bakery equipment in the U.A.E.
As a consequence, it is not a surprise if France's presence at Gulfood 2011 will be very strong with more than 100 French exhibitors : 60 companies will attend the French pavilion dedicated to food, beverages and ingredients while more than 40 will attend the French Pavilion dedicated to equipment and process. Gulfood for French companies is essential to develop their business in the region. Since its creation, France has not missed a single edition of Gulfood and over the years the French presence has kept growing. Undoubtedly, this French presence will grow even bigger next year.
The international trade show Gulfood 2011 will be held from the 27th of February to the 2nd of March 2011, at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Center. 2 French pavilions, specialized by sector, have been organized to welcome about 100 French companies. Hence, about 60 companies will attend the French pavilion dedicated to food, drink and ingredients and more than 40 will attend the French Pavilion dedicated to equipment and process. The French know-how and savoir-vivre will so be exposed in all its variety to 55,000 expected visitors.
French Pavilion : Equipment (Zabeel Hall – ZB, ZC, ZE, ZF, ZG) and Process (Sheikh Saeed Arena – SA, SB).
Organized by UBIFRANCE, the French Agency for international business development, the French Equipment and Process Pavilion will be located in the Zabeel Hall for the equipment part and in Sheikh Saeed Arena for the process part.
This year, 42 French companies will show their latest equipment and technology. For instance, the French participants will display equipment that can be used in various sectors such as catering, food processing, bakery… In addition, French companies will also introduce their know-how in terms of packaging, food signalling, mechanical separation process…
According to Global Trade Atlas (GTA), in 2009, France is the 5th largest exporter of equipment for the food industry, and is therefore among the leading global providers. France’s strength is its presence on all major food industry market, especially with French companies exporting machines and equipment for bakeries, milk and meat industries.
France is also a major and regular supplier of the food industry in the UAE.
French Pavilion : Food (Sheikh Maktoum Hall – E, F, G, H, J) and Ingredients (Sheikh Saeed Hall – S2).
About 60 French companies will be animating the French food and ingredients Pavilion, organized by PROMEETING, coordinator of many exhibitions, already present in several events in the Middle East.
The Pavilion will bring together a large selection of genuine high quality food products, ingredients and beverages from all regions of France.
In November 2010, the French "repas gastronomique" (gourmet meal) was added to UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list. According to the United Nation's cultural organization, French meals play an important social role and are part of the French identity.
French exporters represented at Gulfood have doubled over same period (by space and number of companies):
Country Year 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007
France M² 1,751 1,583 1,554 1,218
No. of Exhibitors 103 109 120 90
Last but not least, in November 2010, the French "repas gastronomique" (gourmet meal) was added to UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list. According to the United Nation's cultural organization, French meals play an important social role and are part of the French identity. Thus, France will launch later this year a promotional campaign about food and gastronomy in some key countries around the world, including the U.A.E.