Our trade mission to Kuwait enabled UK exporters to explore opportunities for British lamb in the Middle East, including the halal sector.
In September, ten delegates from seven organisations joined us in Kuwait to set up partnerships with local companies and importers, promoting sustainable British lamb and how it can perfectly complement Kuwaiti cuisine.
The visit followed the launch of our new export strategy, Beyond Borders, which aims to increase market access and export sales while encouraging and supporting more businesses to export.
The Department for Business and Trade and the agri counsellor for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) joined the mission. The trip started with a meeting with Ernest and Young staff to discuss taxes and trade barriers.
The group were also hosted by the Kuwait chamber of commerce with the British Ambassador, Belinda Lewis, who spoke with them about the significance of the Kuwaiti market and the importance of strengthening bilateral relationships.
The Head of Kuwait Customs was also in attendance, providing UK exporters with the opportunity to ask questions on import regulations. AHDB’s halal sector senior manager, Dr Awal Fuseini, gave a talk on halal assurance in the UK.
The results of the Shape the Future vote in 2022, which allowed levy payers to share their views for future levy spending, showed that exports were a high priority, scoring 4.4 out of 5 for importance in the lamb sector.
Dr Fuseini explained why the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) market is a key target market for exporters. He said:
“MENA offers significant opportunities for UK exporters, especially for the lamb and dairy sectors, due to the region’s strong population growth with a high disposable income, together with limited domestic production capacity, driving food imports higher over the next decade.
“The GCC region is a high-value market which presents new opportunities for UK exporters. The Kuwait gross domestic product increased by 8.2% in 2022 and is forecast to increase by a further 2.6% in 2023. The UK is well placed to capitalise on this increased demand with the UK brand associated with quality and heritage in these markets.
“We had an amazing experience of Kuwaiti culture and hospitality while exploring the enormous business opportunities in the country. I’m looking forward to returning with more exporters in January for the Kuwait Horeca Show.”
We work with industry and government to cultivate further opportunities for red meat and dairy sectors. Export opportunities for UK producers are detailed in our region-by-region analysis, Prospects for UK agri-food exports launched earlier this year; this examines both the opportunities and challenges of trading in different parts of the world.