Korean food import to UAE reaches $310 million in 2017

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Staff Report

Dubai: Food import from South Korea to the UAE is estimated at US$ 310 million since the beginning of 2017, Korean officials reveal in the UAE on the sidelines of K-Food Fair held in Dubai recently.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Government of the Republic of Korea, the combined trade between the UAE and South Korea alone has increased by 12 per cent this year as compared to 2016.

In his inaugural speech, Heo Namduk, Consul General of the Republic of Korea in Dubai, said, “Rice has been very important cultivated crop in Korean’s life since long time ago. Rice covers 90 percent of total grain production and over 40 percent of farm income in Korea. In 2016, rice production was four million metric tons. We have many kinds of rice foods such as rice cookie, rice noodle and rice cake etc. With this seminar, I hope that export of Korean rice and rice products to UAE and MENA will rise up in the future.”

The 2017 edition of the K-Food Fair, organized by Abu Dhabi-based Korea Agro-Fisheries and Food Trade Corporation (aT Center), concluded in Dubai with the Government of the
Republic of Korea introducing more manufacturers and exporters to this region.

The annual festival is organized to expand the reach of South Korean food by exploring export opportunities and building more inroads for Korean companies in the MENA region.
The festival brought exporters and manufacturers from South Korea and MENA under one
roof to exchange ideas and build business relations.

With the two-day festival, the aTCenter Abu Dhabi created a large-scale platform for various South Korean companies and buyers from the MENA region to come together, share ideas and create export pathways.

The Day-one of the festival featured sessions on the import and export of Korean foodstuff including rice and ginseng; as well as product presentations from key exhibitors.

However, the Day-two of the event will feature 25 food exporters and manufacturers from South Korea welcoming over 80 buyers from the MENA region.

Speaking about the UAE and South Korea relations, Bong Seok, Song, Director General of at Center Abu Dhabi, said, “This festival reiterated that there is a big market for South Korean food in the UAE. One of the key objectives of the K-Food Fair in Dubai is to blend
these Korean features into developing and enhancing peoples understanding of the Korean culture and create symbolic events portraying South Korea. Through this, we also aim to increase awareness about the Korean Ginseng and its benefits.”

“The K-Food Fair 2017 is not only a festival for exporters and manufacturers to meet but also for the people to experience various aspects of South Korea. We are confident that in the coming years there will be more such events and festivals where South Korean companies can showcase their products and learn about the local market,” he added