INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSIONS CONFIRM DUBAI’S IMPORTANCE AS GLOBAL TRADING HUB
MENASA Identified as Top Region for Growth as International Food Manufacturing Nations Head for Gulfood 2011
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Dubai World Trade Centre and leading Trade Commissioners from around the world gathered today to discuss the growth in food exports to the MENASA region that is being facilitated by Dubai – the region’s most important international trading hub. In a sign of international food producers’ continued drive to find new markets, trade commissioners report a significant increase in participation by exporters at Gulfood 2011, and expectations of robust sales at what is now recognised as the world’s largest annual food and beverage trade event.
Trade commissioners representing France, Germany, Italy, Egypt, Singapore and the U.S. joined Hamad Buamim, Director General of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) and Helal Saeed Almarri, CEO from Dubai World Trade Centre to outline growth opportunities and challenges for food trade in the MENASA region. Gulfood’s importance for their respective markets was reiterated by all the countries.
“The overarching message from the food producing nations represented here today is of the importance of the region for the growth of the global industry. Gulfood plays a key role in facilitating trade and business opportunities for more than 100 countries around the world, so it is no surprise that the show is now recognised as the largest annual food and hospitality trade exhibition in the world,” said Helal Almarri, CEO of Dubai World Trade Centre, organiser of Gulfood.
“While the MENASA region certainly hasn’t been immune to challenging conditions relating to food recently, the optimistic outlook from all trade representatives here today augurs well for continued growth opportunities. And with the ongoing commitment of our exhibitors, and their countries and trade commissions from almost every corner of the world, Gulfood will continue to play a vital and global role for the industry.”
H.E Hamad Buamim, Director General of Dubai Chamber said: “Dubai’s food trade market is thriving and has the potential to grow much further, especially with events like Gulfood, which encourages new companies, business partnerships and trade ties – all essential to the health and wealth of Dubai’s business community.
“Dubai Chamber is pleased to continue its support of Gulfood 2011. The feedback that we receive from our members who attend the event is always positive. In fact, I’m sure the event can lay claim to being the meeting point for a number of successful business partnerships today. As part of our role, we look forward to hosting our annual networking event at Gulfood for local businesses and international delegates to connect and forge future links”, he added.
The GCC has long been one of the biggest food import regions in the world, bringing almost 90% of food products in from other markets. Regional Director of the Agricultural Trade Office of the U.S. Consulate, Jude Akhidenor said: “US exports of food and agriculture to the GCC have grown from $800m in 2000 to over $2.34 Billion in 2010. Not only does this reflect the confidence in US brands and the quality and diversity of US products, it also shows that American producers have recognised the enormous export opportunities in the GCC, now one of the top 10 markets for our agricultural exports.”
Highlighting the value of the Middle East market to Singapore, Dean Tan, Centre Director of International Enterprise (IE) Singapore said: “The GCC region is Singapore’s eighth fastest-growing market for F&B exports, with the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain representing our top trading partners. Over the last 10 years, our exports to the GCC have grown significantly from USD57.04 million in 2001 to USD107.38 million in 2010. Within the UAE, Dubai is the key gateway for Singapore food exporters into other GCC markets, with Gulfood acting as a key enabler of that growth.”
The food industry is France’s largest industry sector, contributing €148 billion to the country’s economy. With 100 exhibitors in the French Pavilion this year, the country’s Trade Commissioner Francois Sporrer outlined the increasing importance of the region: “France exports more than one third of total production so reaching markets such as the Middle East with a growing appetite for French food is clearly important. Trade shows such as Gulfood that are located in Dubai, the region’s import and re-export hub, have enabled French food exports to the region to grow by a staggering 45% in just twelve months to reach €1.525 billion in 2010. Besides excellent poultry and dairy sales, apples, biscuits and mineral waters have also seen strong export growth.”
The MENASA region has emerged as one of the few global markets offering real business growth for the food and beverage industry. Touching the emerging, developing and expanding markets in the region, Gulfood, offers producers and suppliers new sales opportunities where their traditional markets have either slowed or declined.
This year’s participation, a record 3,800 exhibitors – a 23% increase on last year - is a clear indicator of the world’s attention on the region.
Now in its 16th edition and running from 27 February – 2 March 2011 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Gulfood 2011 expects to welcome 60,000 trade visitors during the four day show.
Over 1 million square feet of dedicated space has enabled 1,400 new exhibitors to participate this year, with food manufacturing corporations Masafi, Nespresso, Nadec and Savola Foods and packaging giants Tetra Pak and DuPont exhibiting for the first time. New countries represented at Gulfood 2011 include Ethiopia, Luxembourg, Malta and Norway, with new country pavilions opening from Armenia, Bangladesh, Morocco, Palestine and Sweden. The global influence of the trade event cannot be underestimated.
Home to Gulfood, Dubai plays a pivotal role in the growth of the regional food, beverage and hospitality industry, both as a key international trading hub – the UAE is the third largest re-exporter in the world (according to the Industrial Bank) with more than 70% of its total agricultural imports re-exported annually – and as one of the fastest growing tourist destinations, driving considerable development within the hospitality trade.
Gulfood supports almost every element of the food, beverage and hospitality industry, incorporating co-located shows Restaurant & Café Middle East and Ingredients Middle East, hosting the highly regarded Gulfood Conference, and recognising industry excellence through the annual Gulfood Awards and the Emirates International Salon Culinaire competition, the latter of which attracts entries from 1,500 chefs around the region.
Gulfood is strictly a trade-only event and is open to business and trade visitors from within the industry only. Complimentary registration is available in advance online. Industry business professionals on the
day of the show will be able to buy either a Day Pass for AED 75, or a Four Day Pass for AED 150. Conference Delegate rates AED 950 per day, Workshops: AED 650 (each). Prices include refreshments and a complimentary 4 day pass to Gulfood. Registration is available now online at www.gulfood.com. Gulfood is open from 11am – 7pm Sunday 27 February 2011 to Tuesday 1 March 2011 and from 11am to 5pm on Wednesday 2 March.
For more information, please visit www.gulfood.com.
Organised since 1987, Gulfood is the region's largest and most important industry event of the year and a strategic platform for buyers and sellers to conduct direct business face to face. The exhibition is a showcase for manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers from around the world, representing all of the key sectors within the food and hospitality trade.
The trade-only show reported record visitor attendance in 2010 with a total of 55,379 trade professionals from 152 countries attending the exhibition.
About Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC)
As the organiser of Gulfood 2011, Dubai World Trade Centre offers more than 30 years experience delivering world-class events in the Middle East, providing local, regional and international exhibitors with unmatched expertise and in-depth market knowledge. Our team organises 18 of the largest and most successful international and regional shows in Middle East, providing an ideal platform for business development in the region.
Our commitment to ongoing innovation within the exhibition industry has supported the rapid growth and development of a wide range of business-to-business and business-to-consumer shows, and delivered consistent satisfaction to exhibitors and visitors. DWTC works with the leading trade bodies and industry associations to ensure that all exhibitions deliver full value and are built upon the real needs of their specific sector.