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GCC Food Spending to hit $20 billion

The annual food bill for the GCC region could double over the next 10 years and reach $20 billion as the region’s population approaches 40 million, according to a report. The six countries are estimated to have spent close to $9 billion on food in 2004.

To address this issue, the GCC has set ambitious targets to substantially develop the agricultural sector by 2010 and an investment of billions of dollars has been earmarked to meet the projected increase in future demand, with Saudi Arabia alone planning to spend over $6.6 billion in water, agriculture and infrastructure sectors during 2007.

However import costs could rise further if as expected the US dollar weakens as America struggles to reduce its trillion dollar budget deficit and GCC central banks do not realign their currencies against the ‘greenback’, heightening concerns over inflation.

”These developments present immeasurable opportunities for agriculture and food related manufacturers, suppliers and technologists to develop significant business opportunities throughout the region,” said Michael Hanlon, exhibition manager for AGRA Middle East show at IIR Middle East.

The AGRA Middle East exhibition is being held at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre (DIEC) from April 17-19, 2007. Established for over 10 years, AGRA Middle East is a proven networking platform that greatly contributes to the region's economy by playing a crucial role in promoting and networking the varied trade activities of the region's burgeoning markets, said Hanlon. The show presents a focus on crop cultivation technologies and machinery, farming technologies, landscaping, irrigation systems, greenhouses, horticulture, fertilizers and agrochemicals, agriculture and garden tools, fencing and related agricultural activities.

The 2007 edition of AGRA Middle East Exhibition will also feature the latest scientific developments in laboratory processes, pest control and biotechnologies, making this exhibition a 'must see' event for all industry participants.

Running concurrently with AGRA Middle East are four distinct, yet closely linked, industrial sectors that have been drawn together to create one comprehensive and power-packed platform. The event will showcase the latest advances in Agriculture & Irrigation, Animal Husbandry & Poultry Farming, Floriculture & Horticulture plus Fisheries & Aquaculture.

The exhibition has attracted confirmed participation from international agribusiness leaders including Cargill, Alltech, Chore Time Systems and Zagro. Moreover, the exhibition has gained key support from regional players and institutional groups like Arab Authority for Agricultural Investment and development (AAAID), Egyptian Agribusiness Association and Malaysian Fisheries Department.-(TradeArabia News Service)


Blogger bizzwhizz said...

Food business is always lucrative if done in the rightway. GCC entrepreneurs should look to develop local food chains.

9:42 PM  

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