ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Pakistani exports to the UAE and Mena region are set to increase within the next few years, especially in the meat, fruits and vegetables segment, experts at Gulfood 2016 have revealed.
Pakistan is participating at the exhibition with more than 92 companies;64 of which are participating under the banner of the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDPA), Khaleej Times reported.
According to the report, “the growth in the number of participating companies this year is around 40 per cent and expected this number to continue growing as more Pakistani companies look for opportunities, not just in the UAE, but across the Mena region.”
“We have been exhibiting here consecutively for a number of years now and our presence has grown over the years. As far as business is concerned, we had an impressive turnover,” said S.M. Munir, chief executive of the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan.
“We crossed our export target this year and had $1.3 billion worth of exports in 2015. Our imports are worth $1.7 billion for the same year. Our food exports have grown by more than 27 per cent, which is roughly $0.5 billion. Our rice exports stand at around $200 million, but the sector we are currently focusing on is meat,” he said.
Currently, more than 12 meat plants have been approved by UAE authorities in Pakistan, and there are 10 more in the pipeline for approval, he added. Exports in the meat segment are also set to rise in the coming years. The exports of food and vegetables in 2015 was worth around $20 million.
“This year, we sold a lot of fresh fruits, especially in the citrus segment. We also expect an increase in demand for oranges, guavas and our world-famous mangoes, which drew in around $18 million. Exports of processed foods, including frozen chicken, were recorded at $20 million. We are working with the government to allow us to export chicken meat. We expect to receive the approval soon. Saudi Arabia has given us the necessary approvals. We are confident that other countries in the region will follow suit,” Munir said.