Dubai trade show oils the wheels of regional investment

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Dubai trade show oils the wheels of regional investment

Related tags United arab emirates

Increased investment in the food industry in the Middle East, Africa and South East Asia (MEASA) looks set to intensify interest in trade show Gulfood Manufacturing in Dubai next week.

Recognised as having some of the fastest emerging markets in the world, the MEASA region is viewed as a hotspot for food and beverage growth.

The high reliance on food imports, in particular throughout the Middle East and parts of Africa, was driving that development, organiser Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) said.

Major private sector investments in the United Arab Emirates' food processing sector include halal food producer Al Islami Foods’ $27.2m facility in Dubai and Brazil’s BRF SA’s $150m plant in Abu Dhabi.

In countries such as Saudi Arabia – the largest food producer in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – the number of food processing units increased from 460 in 2002 to more than 735 in 2012. That’s according to the 2015 Alpen Capital report.

Investment grew

The report claimed overall investment in the sector grew at a compound annual growth rate of 11.9% to $12.3bn in 2012. Growth in the remaining GCC markets was equally robust for their respective sized markets, the paper suggested.

Significant regional business opportunities were emerging as increasing food consumption drove the development of supply chain infrastructure at all levels, from procurement to packaging, DWTC added.

In South East Asia, the food processing industry is developing into a significant economic growth driver.

The industry in India is powered less by food imports and more by food exports, according to the country’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

The food processing industry now accounts for 32% of the country’s total food market, 14% of its manufacturing gross domestic product (GDP), 13% of exports and six percent of industrial investment, MEA claimed.

South Africa

In South Africa, the food processing industry contributes 14% percent to the country’s annual GDP and is its third largest manufacturing sector, said DWTC. Elsewhere, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Algeria, Morocco and Egypt were home to the largest food manufacturing and agri-businesses on the African continent, it added.

Across the MEASA region, governments were implementing programmes to facilitate growth of the food manufacturing and processing industry, said DWTC.

These range from provision of subsidies on certain food production equipment, to interest-free loans, and exemption of duty on the import of raw materials.

Governments in Oman, the UAE, Qatar, India, Nigeria and South Africa are developing specialist industrial parks to support and promote industry investment and growth.

Increase production capabilities

Implementing technology across the supply chain was helping to improve operational efficiencies, enhance agricultural output, increase production capabilities and maintain higher quality levels, it said.

“Gulfood Manufacturing 2015 is an essential ingredient for food and beverage companies in almost every vertical of the value chain because it delivers – sales, connections, expansion opportunities and market insights,”​ said Trixie LohMirmand, senior vice-president, events & exhibitions department, DWTC.

“In terms of the regional market growth drivers, the show brings together industry players at both ends of the spectrum to offer direct and unrivalled access to business in this region. Quite frankly, it would be a business risk not to attend.”

  • Gulfood Manufacturing is open between 10am-6pm from 27 – 28 October and 10am-5pm on 29 October 2015 at DWTC

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