Agri-food sector provides opportunities for Spanish companies operating in the UAE, Ambassador tells International Business Forum

His Excellency Majid Al Suwaidi, Ambassador of the UAE to the Kingdom of Spain, spoke about the importance of the growing agri-food market in the UAE at the seventh edition of the International Business Forum, organized by the Spanish Food magazine under the title: “The United Arab Emirates: New Horizons for Spanish companies operating in the agri-food sector”. A large number of stakeholders in the food industries sector in Spain and those interested in the UAE market took part in the event.

The forum was opened by Alejandro Negro, advisor at the Quatrecas Foundation, who highlighted in his speech the importance of the UAE market and its leadership in attracting foreign investment, especially in the field of agri-food.

Negro congratulated Al Suwaidi on the success of Expo 2020 Dubai, a global event, in which more than 40 Spanish companies participated and succeeded in realizing many investment opportunities, promoting business and trade sectors, and forging partnerships. He then pointed to the volume of trade exchange between the UAE and Spain in 2021, which amounted to about 2.8 billion euros, noting that the firmly-established economic relations between the two countries could be used to enhance sectors such as food security and agricultural technology, a field that grew 5% during the year 2020, despite COVID-19 pandemic.

For his part, His Excellency spoke about the great development in relations between the UAE and Spain at all levels, especially in the areas of investment and economic cooperation. Al Suwaidi underscored the importance of the agri-food sector, which can be developed to support Spanish companies operating in the UAE market and those wishing to take advantage of the opportunities it offers.

Al Suwaidi reviewed the UAE’s strategies aimed at economic diversification, and briefed the audience on the advantages offered by the Government to encourage and attract foreign investments, such as enabling foreign companies to obtain 100% full ownership, various free zones with tax exemptions, full transfers of profits, and other advantages.

He added that all these facilities provided by the UAE to foreign companies led to a steady increase in the number of Spanish companies present in the UAE and working in many fields, especially agri-food – A part of the framework of the National Food Security Strategy 2051, which aims to develop a comprehensive system enabling sustainable food production.

For her part, Maria Naranjo, Director General of Food Industries Affairs at the Foreign Trade, Export and Investment Corporation of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, described the UAE market as the most important in the Arab region. She praised the ideal business environment that the UAE provides to investors and entrepreneurs, in addition to providing excellent infrastructure facilities backed by professional expertise.

Mauricio Cebedo, Director General of the Spanish Federation of Food and Beverage Industries, spoke about the most important projects that the Federation is working on in cooperation with the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture to enhance the presence of Spanish companies in the UAE market and create new partnerships with local economic entities.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation

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