After touring the exhibition floor and speaking with rice producers and traders, Sheikha Lubna held talks with Mr Luong Le Phuong, Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Agricultural & Rural Development, who later outlined his country’s vision to become the world’s largest rice exporter to conference delegates.
Sheikha Lubna also met Mr Tariq Puri, Chief Executive of the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan, and H.E. Lokesh Mysore Kapanaiah, India’s Ambassador to the UAE.
Taking place at Madinat Jumeirah Dubai, Rice Dubai 2011 is held under the patronage of the UAE Ministry of Foreign Trade. The event is officially endorsed by Dubai Multi Commodities Centre and supports the causes of the United Nations World Food Programme.
Dr Faisal Ali Mousa, the founder of the event, sees potential for major growth in the value of rice traded through the UAE, which stood at $520.8m last year – representing around 90% of the world’s re-exports of rice – based on total rice imports to the Emirates of $1.3bn.
Dr Faisal, chairman of Ideal Idea Events Management, aims to persuade Vietnam and Cambodia to make the UAE their regional hub for rice exports into the Middle East and North Africa, and much further afield.
Vietnam, the world’s second largest exporter of rice, and its near neighbor Cambodia, which has recently returned to the international trading arena after a 30-year hiatus, have both sent large Government-led delegations to Dubai.
The gains to be made from Vietnam are highlighted by the fact that Vietnamese companies earned $3bn from exporting around 6.7 million tonnes of rice last year.
Meanwhile, the Royal Government of Cambodia plans to transform the country into a rice basket, expanding cultivated areas to produce a potential harvest of 12.25 million tones. This would bring a paddy surplus of 4 million tonnes, with at least 1 million tonnes for export.
While the long grain basmati rice from India and Pakistan is generally preferred by Arab and Asian consumers, Dr Faisal believes better marketing combined with the UAE’s logistical advantages can increase demand in the region for the jasmine rice, and other varieties, of South East Asia.
Among the exhibitors in Dubai are rice producers and millers, exporters, importers and other rice dealers from across the Middle East, India and Pakistan, the Far East, Europe and as far afield as Brazil.
Among the opening day speakers at the Rice Dubai conference, H.E. Abdulla Al Saleh, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Trade, UAE gave an address on the Emirates as the global leader in rice re-exports.
The event also features a series of round table discussions giving rice traders the chance to hold discussions with exporters and government delegates from Cambodia, Vietnam and Pakistan.
Thursday, November 3- 2011 @ 9:34 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.