UAE to help Philippines grow its halal food export

| 03/03/2008 | Reply

UAE to help Philippines grow its halal food export
BY JOSE FRANCO

2 March 2008

DUBAI
— Manila will be sending marine-biology specialists to the UAE to
inspect the country’s mangroves while Abu Dhabi will help the
Philippines develop its halal food and agricultural exports to the UAE
which grew 39 per cent to Dh73.5 million ($20 million) last year.

These
are some of the salient points of the proposed areas of co-operation
being considered by both countries, according to Philippine Agriculture
Secretary Arthur Yap, who left for New York on Friday after a three-day
visit to Dubai.

During
his visit Yap met with UAE Minister of Environment and Water Rashid
Ahmed bin Fahad, who said the UAE would help the Philippines improve
its halal exports through food accreditation and capital grants.

This
according to Gil B Herico, trade representative at the Philippine Trade
and Investment Centre — Dubai, who yesterday said that Minister Fahad
noted that the Philippines, being free from the dreaded bird flu, would
be a good source for halal chicken.

Herico
said the mangrove specialists from the Philippines would work closely
with the Mangrove Scientific and Research Institute, in Umm Al Qaiwain,
on how to manage well the UAE’s breeding grounds for fish species.

“They
will first make an ocular inspection of the mangroves here, then study
these and draw up recommendations on how to protect and develop them
further,” he said. “Later on there will be an exchange of experts and
delegations between the two countries to strengthen co-operation in
various fields.”

He
added that the areas of co-operation between the UAE and the
Philippines are in the Proposed Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) on
Agricultural and Fisheries Co-operation that the two parties will sign
in Manila no later than May.

Meanwhile,
Yap said that His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum,
Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, is
considering the invitation to visit the Philippines which was extended
by Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo during her two-day
Dubai visit in late-January.

Also
yesterday, Herico said that Manila had closed for this year a total of
Dh1.1 billion ($299 million) in purchase agreements for Philippine
bananas and pineapples with various importers in the six-member Gulf
Co-operation Council (GCC) bloc, Iran and Iraq.

He
stressed that 60 per cent of the total purchases came from Iranian
importers, who are even willing to buy more if the Philippines could
provide such. With a population of 74 million, Iran brought down its
tariff on Philippine bananas and pineapples to four per cent from 25
per cent two years ago.

He
added that Dh44.1 million ($12 million) worth of business deals, Dh18.4
million ($5 million) of which were booked orders, had been facilitated
by the Philippine national pavilion at the recently concluded Gulfood
Exhibition, in Dubai, between Filipino producers and importers in the
Middle East, Africa and Iran.

He
said the deals, Dh25.7 million ($7 million) of which are still under
negotiations, involved Philippine processed food and agricultural
products, such as Filipino delicacies, desiccated coconut, coconut milk
and fresh fruits and vegetables.

Herico
said he is confident that Philippine exports to the UAE involving food
and agricultural products would hit at least 40 per cent this year on
growing awareness among Emirati businesses about high-quality Filipino
products and the increasing number of Filipino workers here.

Category: Asia, Middle East & Africa

Leave a Reply