Victoria drives food export growth in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia

With Dubai hosting the annual Gulfood exhibition, the Australian state is continuing to build strong trade relations in the region

Dubai, UAE – February 22 2021: Victoria, Australia’s food basket and one of the world’s leading premium food suppliers, has revealed the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) were the highest value food and fibre export markets in the MENA region during 2019-20.

Accounting for 45 per cent of food and fibre exports from Victoria, the UAE and Saudi continue to be the mainstay of demand in the region while Turkey, Yemen, Qatar and Jordan experienced strong export growth as well.

The results were announced as Dubai prepares for the annual Gulfood exhibition, the world’s largest annual food and beverage trade show being hosted in the emirate this week.

“The Middle East remains strategically important for Victoria and the strong export growth is an indication of our continued commitment to this region,” said Kassem Younes, General Manager, Middle East, Africa, Turkey, Russia, and CIS Countries for the Victorian Government Trade and Investment Office (VGTIO).

“There remains huge interest for produce from Victoria and our credentials as a producer of safe, high quality food continues to be globally recognised.”

Victoria had its most valuable year on record with food and fibre exports valued at A$14.5 billion in 2019-20. Meanwhile, Victorian merchandise exports to the UAE in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sector were worth A$294 million, comprising 65 per cent of all Victorian merchandise exports to the UAE. The state’s most valuable merchandise export to the UAE was meat (excluding beef) at A$185 million.

Despite the current travel restrictions and disruption in supply chain between Australia and the region due to Covid-19, Victoria’s premium products contribute significantly to the total of Australia’s agriculture and food export into the Middle East.

Overall, Victorian food and fibre exports to MENA were valued at $956 million in 2019-20.

The state is also continuing to forge strong relationships with its partners in the region and as part of its focus on Gulfood this week it is helping to introduce ViPlus Dairy, a nutritional formulated milk powder that is being brought into the UAE for the first time.

Scientifically formulated at ViPlus Dairy’s facility in Gippsland, Victoria, the range of infant and toddler formulations provide children with essential vitamins and minerals.

“We provide some of the highest nutrient rich milk in the world and we are excited to be bringing this Victorian product to the UAE through our partners Al Maya supermarkets,” said Chris McKiernan, International Marketing & Sales Manager, VIPlus Dairy.

“Every parent can be assured that all of our milk formulations are prepared to some of the most stringent food preparation standards in the world delivering a quality assured nutritious supplement made 100% in Australia.”

Victorian Government Trade and Investment Office

The Victorian Government Trade and Investment Office (VGTIO) for the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey was established in 1997 by the State Government of Victoria to promote Victorian exports of products and services into the MEA region and attract inward investment and tourism into Victoria, Australia. During this period, VGTIO has been instrumental in facilitating the successful introduction of many Victorian companies through private programs, and official government trade missions.

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