Russian food manufacturers can benefit from leveraging the UAE as a strategic hub to boost and diversify exports globally, industry experts said during a recent webinar hosted by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s representative office in Azerbaijan in the run up to Gulfood 2021.
The webinar, titled Russia-UAE Food Trade Webinar: Opportunities and Success Stories, attracted 190 participants from the UAE, Russia, and other surrounding markets, representing businesses operating in food manufacturing and trading sectors. The virtual event was organised by Dubai Chamber’s representative office in Azerbaijan in cooperation with Moscow Chamber of Commerce and Industry and supported by the Russian Food House in Dubai.
The event featured presentations on UAE–Russia trade trends and dynamics, identified competitive food export opportunities offering potential for companies operating in both countries, as well as highlighted some success stories from leading food export companies in the UAE and Russia.
Speakers and panelists participating in the event included Hassan Al Hashemi, Vice President of International Relations, Dubai Chamber; Suren Vardanyan, Vice President, Moscow Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Roman Chekushov, Director of the Department of Agri-exports Development in the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation; Zhanna Martynova, Director General Information Analytical Company “VlashVnedService”; Alexei Busev, Chairman, UAE Economic Cooperation Commission Moscow Chamber of Commerce and Industry; and Omar Khan, Director of International Offices, Dubai Chamber.
Addressing participants, Al Hashemi noted that the Dubai Chamber webinar comes at a pivotal time for the UAE and Russia as they prepare for post-Covid recovery, reduce their reliance on food imports, diversify export markets and take steps to enhance food security.
“Dubai can become a major trade hub for Russian food products in the MENA region as it offers many competitive advantages, including as strategic geographic position providing access to 2 billion consumers, world-class logistics infrastructure and a sound financial system,” Al Hashemi said.
Al Hashemi noted that increased bilateral cooperation in this area would support the objectives outlined in the UAE’s food security strategy. He added that Dubai Chamber’s representative office in Baku, Azerbaijan, is ready to assist companies in Eurasian markets that want to learn more about doing business in Dubai and leverage platforms like Gulfood 2021 and Expo 2020 Dubai to boost their global reach.
Suren Vardanyan, Vice-President, Moscow Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MCCI), said that agribusiness exports of Moscow enterprises increased 25% in 2020 and reached $3 billion, adding that opportunities for expanding bilateral cooperation exists not only in food trade, but food technology, innovation and knowledge.
Roman Chekushov, Director of the Department of Agri-exports Development in the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation, said that UAE and Russia have stable and strong economic relations, and the ministry is ready to strengthen relations and expand bilateral business between the two countries, especially during the current period, which is witnessing recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. He also added that participating in Gulfood 2021 is an important step for Russian companies to explore new business opportunities and new marketing platforms, such as online marketplaces, influencers and new channels.
Zhanna Martynova, Director General Information Analytical Company “VlashVnedService”, identified tea, coffee and spices as the leading UAE export products to Russia, and added that Moscow is a top market for UAE exports, which saw an uptick in activity during 2020.