MoIAT, UAE F&B Manufacturing Group sign strategic deal

MoU will strengthen ‘Make it in the Emirates’ initiative by promoting localised manufacturing of food products and target export markets

Image used for illustrative purpose. Cropped Image Of Insurance Agent Discussing With Client At Desk.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Cropped Image Of Insurance Agent Discussing With Client At Desk.

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The UAE Ministry of Industry & Advanced Technology (MoIAT) and the UAE Food & Beverage Manufacturers Group on Wednesday signed a strategic memorandum of understanding (MoU) that will commit to more than doubling the share of the F&B manufacturers’ contribution to the national gross domestic product (GDP).

The agreement was signed at the second edition of the two-day Future Food Forum held at the Dubai Exhibition Centre, Expo 2020 Dubai.

The agreement was signed by Farah Ali Al Zarooni, acting assistant undersecretary for Standards and Legislations Sector at MoIAT and Saleh Lootah, chairman of the UAE F&B Manufacturers Group.

Abdulla Al Shamsi, assistant undersecretary of the Industrial Growth Sector at MoIAT, during his address to the Future Food Forum 2021, said: “With the UAE’s population set to reach 10.5 million by 2030 and the global population set to exceed 9.7 billion by mid-century, there is an urgent need to find more efficient and sustainable ways of feeding our people, while protecting our planet and ensuring our shared prosperity.

“The Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology is preparing the UAE to meet this global challenge. We are aiming to help transform the national F&B sector into a global leader of a high-tech, quality food producer and supplier. We are already a global food logistics hub. And we are aiming to place the UAE at the heart of the global F&B manufacturing industry.”

He added: “A key enabler to achieving our shared goals is the proactive engagement between the public and private sectors. As a ministry, we recognise the intrinsic value of public private partnerships and we seek to work with partners to spur innovation and accelerate investments in R&D for F&B manufacturing in order to adapt to the technological needs of the sector, and ensure we are more than prepared for economies of the future.”

As per to the MoU, the two entities will focus on strengthening the ‘Make it in the Emirates’ initiative to increase the share of locally manufactured food products, enhance the sector’s competitiveness and explore opportunities to boost exports. They will work to increase the share of the F&B sector’s contribution to the national GDP by supporting the growth of national food industries and making the UAE a global centre for manufacturing.

The two entities will also cooperate to enhance technology adoption to increase the competitiveness of the sector, and to attract more investments related to food industries to enhance the UAE’s global leadership in the F&B sector. They will work together to prepare standards and technical regulations for the food sector to develop a world-class F&B manufacturing infrastructure in the country.

Saleh Lootah, Chairman of the UAE F&B Manufacturers Group, said: “This is a landmark agreement that will help transform the nation’s food and beverage manufacturing sector by significantly increasing its contribution to the national economy. As the apex organisation that works towards enhancing the competitiveness of the UAE F&B sector, we are committed to supporting the nation’s Operation 300bn strategy and the ‘Make it in the Emirates’ initiative. The new MoU will help accelerate the deployment of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies to enhance the efficiency of our sector.”

Sessions with experts

In a key event at the Future Food Forum 2021, Essa Abdulla Al Ghurair, Chairman, Essa Al Ghurair Investments, discussed his role as a pioneer in the country’s food and beverage manufacturing sector. In a fireside chat with Jessy El Murr, he explained how he overcame challenges and thrived in challenging business situations.

He said: “The most important aspect for the F&B industry is to be creative; we must be ahead of the curve rather than behind. We also need regulatory support to help the industry grow. The third key concern before the industry today is climate change. It is important to focus on aspects such as water security. I believe that food and water security begins at home, and we must focus on reducing water shortage and harnessing clean energy.”

More than 500 industry leaders attended the two-day event which featured high-level keynote addresses, in-depth panel discussions, and ‘lightning talk’ sessions that covered diverse aspects of the F&B manufacturing value chain. The core themes discussed include the value-add of digitalisation, sustainability, the role of innovation and the need to promote a culture of inclusiveness to mark the transformation of the industry.


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