Pakistan’s revitalised food and beverage agricultural industry is readying for a major export push a leading
food and hospitality trade platform in Dubai, UAE.
Gulfood 2016 will run from February 21 to 25 at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).
More than 90 Pakistani companies are due to take part in the show across 1,000-sq-m, a huge jump from the country’s 90-sq-m presence in 2008.
The increase reflects 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.
It is being organised by the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) and the Pakistan Ministry of Commerce in collaboration with the Consulate General of Pakistan in Dubai.
The US-Pakistan Partnership for Agricultural Market Development and the Consulate General of Pakistan in Dubai will host a Pakistani Meat Branding dinner on February 23 at the Consul General’s residence in Dubai, while the former has also set-up a business-to-business ‘Trade Facilitation Center’ for matchmaking meetings between Pakistani agro-exporters and foreign buyers.
Meanwhile, the Sindh Agricultural Growth Project – which aims to improve the productivity and market access of small-to-medium producers in important commodity value chains – is supporting various Sindh province-based agro-sector growers’ products and exporters’ services at Gulfood.
Javed Jalil Khattak, Consul General, Consulate General of Pakistan, Dubai, said: “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.
“Buyers can leverage Pakistan’s cost-competitiveness, lower transport costs and delivery time, and the quality, freshness, taste and aroma of our diverse produce.”
The huge growth in Pakistani participation at Gulfood comes as the country achieved a 27 per cent increase in its food and beverage exports to the UAE alone over the past two years.
Rice remains Pakistan’s leading food export to the UAE with TADP figures showing that Pakistani rice sales to the Emirates have jumped 11 fold to $207.8 million over the last two years.
Meat and processed frozen food is another important growth sector for Pakistani exports crossing $100 million mark in period of last three years.
Exports of Pakistani fruits and vegetables have also increased more than 100 per cent in the past three years. Sales of dried fruits and vegetables to the UAE rose two-fold and four-fold to $9.7 million and $7.8 million, respectively.
The country exported $5.9 million worth of potatoes to the emirates last year – an eight-fold increase on 2012 figures, while sales of Pakistani Fresh and frozen meat have crossed $50 million.
Onions, garlic and leeks, fresh or chilled and ginger have also witnessed 300 per cent export growth over the past three years. Citrus fruit, fresh or dried has peaked its exports of over $22 million- an increase of more than 168 per cent in the same period.
With sales of herbs more than doubling over the same period to $4.7 million, Pakistani exporters also grew sales of concentrated milk and cream, vegetable oils and ice-cream from a standing start in 2012 to double or triple figure dollars last year.
Dr Saeed Qadir, commercial counsellor, Consulate General of Pakistan, Dubai and Northern Emirates, said: “Pakistan’s food and agro sectors exports to the Emirates last year touched half a billion dollars which compares extremely favourably to 2012 sales of $362.4 million.
“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.” – TradeArabia News Service
Malaysian High Commissioner (MHC) to Pakistan Dr Hasrul Sani Bin Mujtabar met Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, here on Tuesday and discussed matters of mutual interest, bilateral relations and promotion of cooperation in different sectors. They agreed to promote economic and trade relations especially cooperation in livestock, agriculture and Halal food sectors between Malaysia and Pakistan.
The Malaysian High Commissioner said Pakistan is an important trade partner of Malaysia and his government wants to further strengthen trade relations between the two countries as the confidence of foreign investors has enhanced during the tenure of the present government. Hasrul Sani Bin Mujtabar said Malaysian investors also want to benefit from investment opportunities in Pakistan especially Punjab said that Pakistan is an important trade partner of Malaysia.
The CM said there are strong brotherly and trade relations between Pakistan and Malaysia however, there is room for further increase in cooperation in livestock, Halal food, energy, minerals, infrastructure and agriculture sectors. Malaysia has made remarkable progress during the last few years which is a role model for developing countries. Shahbaz Sharif said that maximum facilities are being provided to foreign investors in Punjab and compared to 2013 Pakistan’s economy is developing speedily.
Malaysian investors should invest in Punjab and assured that all out incentives and facilities will be provided. He said there should be maximum exchange of trade delegations between Pakistan and Malaysia for further strengthening relations and the two countries should take immediate measures for this purpose, exchange of trade delegations between Pakistan and Malaysia will help in promotion of economic ties. The Malaysian High Commissioner appreciated the extraordinary abilities of Shahbaz Sharif and said that his capacity to work hard is appreciated not only in Pakistan but also in foreign countries. He said that Punjab government is taking effective measures for the promotion of investment in the province.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2016