Minister for Natural Resources and Food, Alun Davies, has travelled to Dubai with nine Welsh food and drink producers to promote top-quality Welsh food at the Gulfood trade exhibition (23-27 February 2014).
Gulfood is the key international food and drink trade event in the Middle East, attracting more than 77,000 domestic and international traders in 2013. Held at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Gulfood provides an important opportunity for Welsh producers looking to reach and develop new markets in the United Arab Emirates.
Alun Davies said the trip is a great opportunity to promote high-quality Welsh produce and increase trade opportunities in the Middle East. He said: “This is a really exciting opportunity. The UAE is by far the UK’s largest growing export market and is the main consumer of Welsh food in the Middle East.”
“I am delighted so many Welsh companies have accompanied me to Dubai for this key trade event. I look forward to showing the Middle East what great produce Wales has to offer.”
While at the exhibition, the Minister will discuss trade opportunities with the Welsh food producers and will set out how the Welsh Government can help support a sustainable trading relationship between Wales and the UAE. Mr Davies will also say a few words at a reception bringing together key players in the Middle East’s food and drink sector and head chefs at the region’s top restaurants.
While in the UAE, the Minister will also meet with the Director General of the Dubai Economic Department to discuss the country’s import market and how Wales can increase its export trade with the region.
This visit follows the launch of the Welsh Government’s draft Action Plan for the Food and Drinks Industry 2014 – 2020 that seeks to deliver growth and jobs in the food and farming sector and increase the profile of Welsh food. An important part of the action plan is creating business opportunities for Welsh food producers by opening up new markets and increasing exports
Talking about the action plan, the Minister added: “I have put the commitments I made last month into action straight away by leading trade missions to both Dubai and the US to present the best of Welsh food to new and growing markets across the globe.
“I am committed to strengthening Wales’s food and drinks sector and will do all I can to ensure Wales makes the most of these opportunities so that our food industry can continue to grow and reach its full potential.
“By supporting and encouraging Welsh companies to develop new markets overseas we can promote sustainable economic growth”.