Dubai Chamber seminar highlights investments in key industry sectors
- United Arab Emirates: Thursday, December 13 - 2012 at 15:18
- PRESS RELEASE
In order to assist private sector growth, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry hosted a seminar on investment opportunities in water, food processing, and coffee, tea and sugar industries at its head office.
In his welcome speech, Dr. Belaid Rettab, Senior Director, Economic Research and Sustainable Business Development Sector, Dubai Chamber, gave an overview of the emirate's current economic climate, saying that Dubai has shown robust performance and sustained excellence in trade, tourism, logistics and financial services.
"Dubai Chamber members' exports and re-exports in November this year valued at Dhs20.4bn, which is an 8.3% increase from the same month last year. This shows that the trade sector is continuing to perform strongly despite continued global pressures and that we are likely to exceed last year's trade figures," Dr. Rettab said.
Based on extensive market research carried out by Dubai Chamber, the seminar highlighted a multitude of opportunities that are open to investors, which will also help to drive Dubai's economic growth.
The first presentation on investment opportunities in the water sector examined the need for Dubai to move away from its dependence on expensive and energy-intensive desalinated water.
Over 20% of all fossil fuels consumed in the UAE are used for producing desalinated water alone, while processing groundwater, treating wastewater, and transporting water long distances requires large energy-consumption.
The implementation of new water technologies could help Dubai reduce its desalination bill and could help production become more cost-efficient, according to the presentation.
It identified 10 specific areas of investment, including a bulk water reception terminal and bottling plant, a tailored water solution for enhanced oil recovery, the use of closed circuit desalination technology, nano-filtration and nanoH2O membranes.
The second presentation focused on business opportunities in the food processing industry, which is expanding rapidly due to foreign direct investment and government efforts to enhance domestic food production. This is leading to a substantial rise in production and manufacturing facilities.
Local industries, such as flour and feed milling, fresh juice production, soybean crushing, dairy processing, soft drinks manufacturing, meat processing, vegetable preparation and canning and snack food production are presently able to compete with counterparts across the Middle East and Asia.
Another reason for expansion is that the country re-exports about 50% of its imports of food products to other Gulf countries and across the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the CIS. Some international companies and brands are utilising their facilities in the UAE due to the country's strategic location to increase domestically produced products, which is enhancing demand for ingredients and raw materials.
The final presentation, on coffee, tea and sugar industries, stated that sugar confectionery in the UAE has increased significantly, from 6,438 tonnes in 2002 to 34,058 tonnes in 2011. Meanwhile the sales of tea have increased from about 12,825 tonnes to about 40,749 tonnes.
One area of investment could be in overseas farmlands or through the creation of joint ventures with existing coffee, tea and sugar cane farmers, in order to increase productivity and help in secure cheap sources of supply.
Opportunities also exist in branding coffee, tea and sugar confectionery, which could help UAE businesses move up the value chain and give them the ability to raise profits by getting better prices for their branded products, according to the presentation.
It also said that UAE businesses need to establish closer links with economies in the MENA region, Africa and Asia, where growing population and increasing disposable incomes are leading to higher demand for tea, coffee and sugar. This, the presentation concluded, is the right time for UAE businesses to establish a foothold in these markets to profit from their future growth.
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