UAE F&B imports from Latin America hit $1.9 billion in 2020 as country boosts food security

  • New analysis from Dubai Chamber of Commerce released on the sidelines of Gulfood 2022 estimates untapped potential of Latin American food and beverages exports to the UAE at $800 million.
  • Key findings of the analysis will be discussed at the 4th Global Business Forum Latin America, taking place March 23rd-24th at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Dubai, UAE: The UAE’s food and beverage imports from Latin America reached $1.9 billion in 2020 as the Gulf country expanded its efforts to enhance food security, new analysis from Dubai Chamber of Commerce finds.

The findings, released on the sidelines of Gulfood 2022, will be discussed in further detail at the 4th Global Business Forum Latin America, which takes place March 23rd-24th in Dubai. The high-level forum, organised by Dubai Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Expo 2020 Dubai, is bringing together heads of state, government and business leaders, and industry experts from Latin America, the Caribbean and the UAE to explore new avenues of economic cooperation.

Food and beverage exports from Latin American markets to the UAE accounted for 12% of the country’s total food and beverage imports in 2020, according to the analysis, which is based on data from the UAE’s Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre (FCSC) and International Trade Centre.

Latin America is an important economic partner that can support the UAE achieve the goals outlined under its National Food Security Strategy 2051, which was launched in 2018 with the aim of making the country the world’s most food secure nation.

In addition, the analysis estimates the untapped potential of Latin American food and beverage exports to the UAE at $800 million, with animal products projected to see the highest value by category, followed by horticulture, vegetables processed food and animal feed beverages, sea animal products and cereals.

The UAE’s F&B exports and re-exports to Latin America reached $18.4 million, which indicates that there is plenty of scope to boost the country’s food exports to the region. At the same time, the study highlighted existing synergies between the UAE and Latin America in the field of food security, as well as prospects for the UAE to export sustainable food production technologies to Latin America and lend its expertise to help countries in the region meet their own food security agendas.

The UAE’s National Strategy for Food Security aims to implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production that helps maintain ecosystems, developing and enabling sustainable food production through the use of modern technologies. One such example is Dubai’s Food Tech Valley launched in May of 2021 with the aim to triple UAE’s food production, as part of a wider initiative to meet the targets set for 2051. The country is positioning itself as a global leader in Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) and aquaculture – initiatives that maximise the production of food using a minimum amount of resources.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, GBF Latin America 2022 is hosted under theme Towards a Resilient Future. The forum, part of Dubai Chamber of Commerce’s flagship GBF series, puts the spotlight on reforms reshaping Latin American and Caribbean economies and new initiatives and efforts to position the regions for growth in the post-Covid-era and beyond.

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