A delegation of 60 Victorian food and beverage companies are participating in this year’s Super Trade Mission to the Middle East, with a large number exhibiting at a new and expanded Victorian Government Stand at Gulfood, the world’s biggest annual foodservice, hospitality and retail event in Dubai.
Minister for Employment and Trade, Louise Asher, who is leading a Super Trade Mission of more than 150 delegates representing more than 110 Victorian organisations to the Middle East, officially opened the Victorian stand today.
“I am delighted that the Victorian Government has increased the size of the stand to accommodate the greater interest and expanding needs of the Victorian food and beverage companies that are exhibiting here today,” Ms Asher said.
“The stand is a hub for Victorian food and beverage producers. It accommodates significant buyer matching, product sampling and information throughout the four days of the show.
“The Victorian Government is keen to help our food and beverage and agribusiness industries push into new and targeted international markets.
“That is why the Victorian Government has had a presence at Gulfood for more than 15 years to support our Victorian exhibitors to network with suitable purchasers across the Middle East, Europe and Asia.
“This commitment is now part of the Victorian International Engagement Strategy which includes a significant program of trade and investment action in high priority export markets.
“After Gulfood and the Super Trade Mission to the Middle East last year, Victorian food and beverage companies reported anticipated sales of over $135 million for the following 24 months, including big sales of processed foods, dairy and meat.
Gulfood is the world’s biggest annual foodservice, hospitality and retail event. Last year 4,200 exhibitors visited the expo along with 77,000 registered trade visitors from over 152 countries.
Minister for Agriculture and Food Security Peter Walsh joined Minister Asher for the official opening of the Victorian stand at Gulfood.
“I’m excited to be here supporting Victorian agribusiness and promoting Victoria’s strengths in this area, as part of the Super Trade Mission,” Mr Walsh said.
Victorian food and fibre exports to the Middle East and North Africa increased 15 per cent in 2012-13 to $1.25 billion as a result of significant demand for meat, dairy products and grain.
“This makes the Middle East and North Africa collectively our second most important market for food and fibre exports and it will continue to receive priority focus in our Super Trade Mission program and other market development initiatives.”
He said trade missions are a pivotal component of the Victorian Government’s commitment to increase trade and help Victorian businesses to grow by providing a launching pad to explore global markets.
Ms Asher said the Victorian Government has supported 65 trade missions to key markets, since December 2010, including China, India, the Middle East and South East Asia, with participating companies reporting more than $4 billion in combined exports over a two year period.
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