The UAE food industry has reached out to the Indian government, expressing its interest in importing various products from New Delhi, including chicken, dairy items, basmati rice, frozen marine goods, and wheat products. They highlight a substantial demand for these products in Middle Eastern countries. The UAE industry has specifically requested the Indian government’s assistance in streamlining certification procedures, enhancing coordination with the Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), and aligning product standards.
They also said that high quality packaging of Indian products would help boost New Delhi players to increase exports of food and food products in countries like Bahrain, Kuwait, the Sultanate of Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, during his recent visit to the UAE, engaged in extensive talks with these importers, exploring avenues to enhance India’s export potential.
“There is huge scope for India to export frozen products in these countries,” Global Food Industries LLC Head of Sales UAE (Frozen and Beverages) Nissar Thalangara said.
A spokesperson from the Khimji Ramdas Group in Oman mentioned that there is a significant demand for Indian basmati rice, and a reduction in the minimum export price (MEP) for this rice would aid India in increasing its exports.
The government is contemplating a reduction in the minimum export price (MEP) from the current USD 1,200 per tonne to USD 850 per tonne.
Another importer from GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries raised the issue of halal certification.
India has a well-established halal meat certification system.
Fauzan Alavi, Executive Director of Allanasons Pvt Ltd, pointed out that the free trade agreement between India and the UAE is playing a pivotal role in fostering the export of meat products.
“We see more opportunities to increase our exports from India to UAE,” Alavi said.
Echoing a similar sentiment, Kirti Meghnani, Head of Retail Procurement at Choithrams, emphasized that an emphasis on product packaging will empower Indian exporters to expand their trade with the UAE and other nations in the Gulf region.
Nitesh Ved, Chairman of Appcorp Holding, proposed that establishing an APEDA office in this region would be beneficial for the food industry.
Another importer from the GCC group mentioned the demand for products from Indian cottage industries. To meet this demand, India needs to address matters related to standards, packaging, and labelling.
The India-UAE trade agreement was implemented in May last year.
The bilateral trade between the nations surged to USD 84.9 billion in 2022-23, up from USD 72.9 billion in 2021-22.