Pakistan’s food, beverage exports to UAE increase 27%

Published: February 14, 2016



LAHORE: Pakistan’s food and beverage exports to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have increased 27% in the last three years, making it an area worthy of attention after textiles, said the consul general of Pakistan in Dubai.

While rice remains the country’s top export commodity to the Emirates, the food segment remains a potential area as Pakistan continues its fight to increase foreign exchange revenue through exports.

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“Pakistan’s food and agro-products exports touched $0.5 billion last year compared to 2012’s number of $362.4 million,” said Commercial Counsellor of Dubai Consulate Saeed Qadir, adding that Pakistan had boosted sale of its traditional agricultural products and expanded reach into areas such as processed meat and poultry products, tea, concentrated milk and cream, certain fruits and vegetables, spices, herbs and confectionaries.

Rice remains Pakistan’s leading food export to the UAE. According to TDAP figures, Pakistan’s rice sales jumped 11 fold to $207.8 million compared to the last two years. Meat and processed frozen food exports crossed the $100 million mark in the last three years.

As for fruits and vegetables, exports increased over 100% in three years. Sales of dried fruits and vegetables to the UAE rose to $9.7 million and $7.8 million, respectively. Exports of potatoes reached $5.9 million last year – an eight-fold increase compared to the 2012 figures, while fresh and frozen meat exports crossed the $50 million mark.

“Moreover, for this sector, there awaits a major export push as more than 90 Pakistani companies are taking part in the Gulfood 2016; the world’s largest annual food and hospitality trade platform, scheduled in Dubai later this month,” said the CG.

“In this exhibition, Pakistani exhibitors will be looking to source new buyers for a wide range of Pakistani food and agro sector products including fresh and frozen foods, rice, fruits and vegetables, sauces, nuts, sweets, confectionery and tea,” said Consulate General of Pakistan, Dubai Consul General  Javed Jalil Khattak.

“Buyers can leverage Pakistan’s cost-competitiveness, lower transport costs and delivery time, and the quality, freshness, taste and aroma of our diverse produce”, he added.

The Pakistan pavilion at Gulfood 2016 will feature among 117 national and trade association pavilions. There will also be a first-time group participation from Russia, Costa Rica, Belarus, Mauritius and New Zealand (returning after a six-year break). In all, some 5,000 international companies from 120 countries and more than 85,000 food and beverage, wholesale, retail, distribution and hospitality professionals from five continents will take part in the event.

Data released by global macroeconomic research firm, BMI International, shows that Pakistan remains a buoyant market for consumer sales and food and beverage investment. The firm is forecasting a 9.9% per capita compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in food consumption until 2019, a 3.2% per capita CAGR growth in domestic soft drinks sales and 9.5% per capital CAGR in mass grocery retail sales.

Pakistan’s trade gap broadens to $13.7b

“There are enormous business opportunities emerging in Pakistan for both food and beverage imports and exports, as evident by the recent international investment in manufacturing plants in Karachi, Multan and Islamabad,” explained the Exhibitions and Events Management Dubai World Trade Centre Senior Vice President Trixie Lohmirmand.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 14th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • Faisal
    Feb 14, 2016 - 12:13PM

    These statistics are not correct, I can only see Indian foods, spices and textiles in UAE, covering almost all major sector, From Pakistani.Recommend

  • Murtaza
    Feb 14, 2016 - 1:29PM

    Pakistani food products are often sold as Indian food products because Pakistan has a very bad image. Also the Indian diaspora dwarfs the Pakistani one. So that’s why you are not seeing made in pakistan listed prominently on the things you buy.Recommend

  • Sam
    Feb 14, 2016 - 2:10PM

    Just curious why export is allowed while basics food and veggies remain so expensive in local markets. No point in being an agricultural country if you can’t feed your own people cheap stuff. Recommend

  • noor
    Feb 14, 2016 - 3:00PM

    All major stores across UAE keeping PAkistani products behind the shelves, and try to sell good Pakistani products with India name….this article is nothing just to make weight in their profile otherwise our embassies are doing very pathetic job abroad ….Recommend

  • Larkanian
    Feb 14, 2016 - 3:09PM

    @Faisal: What you observe by saying ‘I can only see…’ is not called accurate ‘statistics’. Should we believe statistics by those Dubai-based business and trade-related people or an individual like yourself? Recommend

  • abdullah
    Feb 14, 2016 - 4:13PM

    @faisal.uae is not only dubai.dere r other states too.i have seen alot of pakistani products lately in dubai you need to visit different places not the same hypermarket you visit quite often.
    @murtaza what you said is wrong.they dont sell it under indian names.probably some conspiracy theorist gave you this version.That shows his mentality.
    You should know that if you change the origin of a product on display in will be penalised heavily by DED .Thats one reason now a days you see the the origin of veg and fruit mentioned in all the big outlets.Recommend

  • optimist
    Feb 14, 2016 - 4:17PM

    I don’t know why people are raising doubts. Indian have more products because of bigger population but Pakistani products are very popular among Pakistanis and there is big diaspora.
    My local store owner (Sikh) stocks all famous items (Rooh Afza, Mangoes, Kinnos, Pakistani basmati rice, Johor Joshanda etc. with Indian rice, Dabur Amla, Chooran etc).Recommend

  • Murtaza
    Feb 14, 2016 - 9:12PM

    Because artificially restricting exports goes against the prevailing free market ideology and only serves to discourage farmers from growing these sort of crops which will eventually lead to a shortage and a rise in prices. Also we need the foreign exchange.Recommend

  • rana izhaar
    Jul 1, 2016 - 12:21AM

    I want exporting rice in UAE can u help meRecommend

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