Opportunity To Expand Malaysian Foodstuff To The Middle East

As part of the initiatives to support Malaysian companies in recovering their export business amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) is spearheading the participation of Malaysian companies in one of the world’s largest annual food, beverages and hospitality exhibition, Gulfood 2021.

The event, which is scheduled to take place from 21 to 25 February 2021 in Dubai, UAE,  will showcase twenty (20) Malaysian companies and two (2) Government agencies promoting a wide variety of Malaysian food and beverage products including palm oil-based products, food ingredients, stingless bee honey (kelulut), sauces and paste, spices, frozen food, biscuits as well as ready-to-eat meals. These products receive strong demand in the market, in tandem with the current trend for healthy and on-the-go lifestyle.

Gulfood 2021 is one of the first key trade shows to be held in UAE since COVID-19 vaccination programme started in the country in December 2020. Malaysia’s exports of processed food to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region was valued at RM2.07 billion last year. Participation in Gulfood 2021 is part of MATRADE’s continued effort to strengthen market share in the region especially since the MENA region represents one of the world’s fastest growing food and beverages markets

According to the Director of Halal, F&B and Agro-based Section at MATRADE, Remee Yaakub, Malaysia’s participation in Gulfood will continue to highlight the best quality and competitive F&B products to buyers in Dubai & neighbouring countries in the region. “Gulfood serves as a great platform for Malaysian companies to position and penetrate new markets particularly within MENA. We will also be leveraging on this platform to promote Malaysia’s strengths in Halal since the demand for such products in the region is huge,” Remee said.

“With the vaccination programme gaining momentum around the globe, travel and physical restrictions are anticipated to be phased out gradually. The easing of such measures will surely bring to the normalisation and recovery of activities. For instance, Dubai is ramping up its final preparations for the World Expo 2020, which will take place later this year. As such, MATRADE is taking a leading role to provide the best platform for Malaysian companies to quickly recover their export business through participation in the event physically to tap into those opportunities.  We believe that this will help them to make a comeback faster and be a boon to Malaysia’s export growth,” Remee added.

Over the years, MATRADE has successfully positioned many Malaysia’s F&B brands into the region through participation in Gulfood.  Among those brands include Fraser & Neave (F&N), Saji (FGV), Adabi, Jalen, MakCik (Sydney Cake House), Dasto, Mamee and others.  Many of these brands have not only gained foothold in the UAE, but also to other emerging markets in West Asia, Central Asia, South Asia and Africa.

Malaysian exporters who are interested to export to the Middle East market may contact MATRADE Dubai at [email protected] to receive more information about the market, a list of useful contacts, and to determine further assistance in establishing linkages with the Middle Eastern counterparts.

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