Islamabad: “Pakistan has emerged as an important player of food supplies to the UAE and Gulf region and we hope that SIAL Middle East will facilitate our exhibitors both in product and geographic diversifications”. This was stated by Ambassador of Pakistan in UAE Mr. Jamil Ahmed Khan while talking to reporters after visiting Pakistan Pavilion at SIAL Middle East Exhibition, here in Abu Dhabi.
The Ambassador said that it is a matter of great pride and honour that His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince, His Highness Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, His Highness Saqr Al Ghobash, Minister of Labour and His Highness Dr. Rashid Ahmed Bin Fahad, Minister for Environment and Water along with their delegations visited Pakistan Pavilion that also set an example how the people of UAE and Pakistan are connected through deep mutual love and brotherhood and share the same Islamic faith, celebrate the same festivals, adhere to the same social values and follow similar traditions.
The Ambassador said that seven Pakistani firms have participated in this event for the first time and displayed their range of products at the Pakistan pavilion. He said that Pakistani traders have informed that the visitors have shown keen interests in Pakistani products and they have received subsequent numbers of orders as well.
The Ambassador said that UAE is currently importing food products around $5 billion while Pakistan’s is sharing $ 450million which is 1/4th of our overall trade share. He said that Pakistan Embassy is coordinating to increase government to government contacts between the two countries to enhance food exports to this region to ranks up to number 4 in the world as currently we are ranking at number 10 in the world.
He said that Pakistan has the potential to double its food export to the UAE by adding value to its products as our average unit price of food exported items is comparatively less than most of the competing countries, but we need to do value addition by establishing brands in the region.
The Ambassador said that it is the duty of the Embassy and the Consulate to promote business trade and project quality products at the International level and to grab every opportunity which enhances exports in the host country. He said that according to a new research, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states will spend $53.1 billion by 2020 on food imports to feed growing population.
He said that this region, spent $25.8 billion on food imports last year, depending heavily on imports of agriculture and food products. The Ambassador said that food consumption in GCC is expected to rise at the rate of 4.6 per cent annually between 2011-15 and reach 51.5 million tonnes per year during this period.
He said that Pakistan’s exports of food products to GCC region stand at $1 billion and UAE shares around 50 per cent of the total bill. Pakistan, he said can benefit from this immensely because of the geographic proximity and can easily increase its food exports to GCC countries, specially UAE.
The Ambassador said that SIAL food fair has become a truly international brand and it is a great pleasure to be part of this food event for the first time. He said that we welcomed valued visitors to the Pakistan pavilion who will have a chance to meet with our leading food suppliers at this dedicated business platform in the thriving region of the Middle East.
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