03 April 2017
Abdulaziz Bin Hamad Al-Ageel, Secretary General of The Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting (GOIC), a regional diplomatic organization, inaugurated the 1st Forum of GCC Food Products Manufacturers and Food Security Program and the 1st International Exhibition for Food, Beverage and Process Technology (FOODEX) at the Doha Exhibition and Conference Center (DECC).
The event will take place until 4th of April, 2017. Present on the occasion were GOIC assistant secretaries general, a number of Arab, Gulf and foreign ambassadors, investors and interested parties in food manufacturing in GCC countries.
Abdulaziz Bin Hamad Al-Ageel, Secretary General of GOIC, delivered a keynote speech at the inauguration of the event. He said: “Food products manufacturing in the GCC is receiving a growing attention from governments and decision makers alike. Food manufacturing is actually a highly important activity in the GCC. It is one of the necessary pillars to shape the strategic economic dimension as it actively contributes to providing nutrition for humans, guaranteeing maximum food products self-sufficiency and reducing dependency on imports which leads to food security.”
GOIC Secretary General added: “This is why GOIC collaborated with Emirati Al-Fajer Information & Services in coordination with the Organization’s partner in Qatar, the Gulf Marketing Event Management & Advertising, to organise the 1st Forum of GCC Food Products Manufacturers and Food Security Program in conjunction with the 1st International Exhibition for Food, Beverage & Process Technology. GOIC’s main objective is to provide food industry-related information to the largest possible range of stakeholders like policy makers, decision makers, investors and researchers in this field. Thus, they will have access to valuable information to develop and promote the Gulf food products manufacturing industry, as it is a promising sector capable of actively contributing to economic growth in the region.”
“Food industries have become one of the cornerstones of a solid economy, for it depends on agricultural activities and developing livestock and fisheries, in addition to its vital role in achieving GCC food security and self-sufficiency. In this regard, GOIC believes in the importance of its role in the areas of consulting, research and studies. Consequently, the forum and exhibition will create an opportunity to introduce investment opportunities that were prepared by GOIC experts to be accessible to investors and businessmen and executed in Qatar or any other GCC country in accordance with its goals aiming at creating a developed economy in the region”, said Al-Ageel.
“GCC countries’ interest in developing the food manufacturing industry played a major role in promoting this sector. In fact, approximately 25 billion USD were invested and about 257 thousand people were offered jobs in 2063 factories operating in the food manufacturing sector in 2016, Secretary General GOIC said”
Al-Ageel added: “GCC countries have what it takes to establish industrial food projects, notably access to technology, low customs tariffs on agricultural imports, high health control standards and specifications, the capacity to spend on research and development, a strong purchasing power, high food products import bill, the capacity to make agricultural investments in other countries and to attract skilled workers, in addition to benefiting from the Greater Arab Free Trade Area (GAFTA) to promote food exports.”
He wished the forum great success and hoped participants would reach recommendations to boost the food manufacturing sector. Likewise, he expressed his wishes of success to FOODEX Qatar in achieving its desired objectives to develop this industrial sector in GCC countries.”
Dr. Abdullah Al-Nameh, Chairman of Gulf Marketing said, “It is not uncommon for the development of Qatar’s industrial sector and its scope. In order to contribute to this, Gulf Marketing and Exhibitions Company, together with the partnership of Fajr Information and Services in Dubai, decide to organize this exhibition for food and beverage technology and the manufacturing process in the name of “Foodex Qatar 2017”.
In conclusion, participants agreed on a number of recommendations based on the aforementioned working papers to improve and develop the food manufacturing industry in the GCC as follows:
1. Deploying relentless efforts to overcome difficult climatic and natural conditions that limit the expansion of agricultural lands.
2. Taking into account agricultural policies aiming at raising productive efficiency and optimising the utilisation of economic resources in the agricultural sector.
3. Developing agricultural exchange and transport means between GCC countries.
4. Encouraging investments in support of agricultural production and food industries.
5. Endeavouring to increase design capacity of factories in order to achieve food security.
6. Relying on local raw materials in the field of food manufacturing.
7. Deploying efforts to achieve more cooperation and coordination between GCC manufacturers, which is the ideal solution to face problems like dumping, price war and others that harm manufacturers’ interests and finding appropriate solutions and mechanisms to treat them.
8. Focusing on establishing food industries that can replace imports and offer job opportunities to the labour force.
9. Strengthening technical support programs targeting food manufacturers to boost quality and productivity.