The meeting, held at the Chamber’s headquarters recently, offered members the opportunity to discuss obstacles, raise issues facing them in today’s market and make recommendations to the Government.
During the meeting, His Excellency highlighted the UAE’s participation in the forthcoming G20 meeting, during which UAE officials will urge world leaders to work together to tackle three global issues relating to water security, food security and energy security.
The Minister stressed that the UAE’s participation in this leading international forum was crucial and essential due to the country’s effective role on the global stage.
His Excellency pointed out that the UAE is a member of a number of international organizations related to the food sector, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Trade Organization, the World Health Organization and the International Fund for Agricultural Development.
The Minister said the UAE is known for its modern infrastructure and leading logistics services that are essential for traders to import and export products like meat to the highest standards, and he encouraged traders to comply with these regulations and international health standards.
His Excellency told attendees there are a number of new meat markets that need to be explored in order to improve food security in the country. He said that the Ministry is currently in the process of accrediting halal certificates and coordinating health regulations from a number of new countries.
The Ministry of Environment & Water is involved in leading food safety and food security in the Emirates and approves all slaughterhouses to ensure they meet the highest standards, the Minister said. He added that the Ministry also presides over the committee of food safety and is highly involved in regulating the food sector.
His Excellency said the Ministry was now working on a new federal food law which has been sent to the Ministry of Justice for review.
He said he wanted this dialogue with meat traders to continue in the future and that the Ministry was working on creating an electronic link for the sector to involve them and educate them about new regulations.
For their part, traders discussed the problems in obtaining halal certificates from certain meat producing countries and the restrictions on importing meat from certain countries due to health reasons.
They also asked if the procedure to get halal certificates could be simplified and whether a dedicated section for perishable goods could be set up in Dubai Customs to speed up the import process.
H.E. Hamad Buamim, Director General, Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry, who also attended the meeting, praised the role of the ministry in supporting trade, saying that meetings such as this were a positive step.
“The Government has proven that they are here to listen to the private sector and thereby improve the overall business climate in the UAE,” said Mr. Buamim.
“Dubai Chamber takes its role as a business facilitator very seriously and we want to take this meeting further and forward to engage in a bigger dialogue,” he added.
Attendees praised the Dubai Chamber initiative to improve communication links with Dubai and UAE authorities and commended the Chamber of their role as a facilitator and promoter of business.
Thursday, March 31- 2011 @ 14:14 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.