Wednesday 12 August 2020

UAE eyes potential collaboration in food trade with UK

LONDON, October 26, 2019

A high-level UAE delegation led by Mariam Almheiri, Minister of State for Food Security, is in the UK to explore bilateral co-operation in the areas of food trade, investment and scientific research.
Almheiri, who is on her official two-day visit to Britain, held a number of meetings with government ministers, officials and representatives of prominent food research centres, universities and companies from the United Kingdom.
Speaking about her trip, Almheiri said it was aimed at identifying ways to enhance bilateral food trade between the two countries and to further collaboration in the field of food security by reviewing the latest research and projects underway in the sector.
"This visit formed part of our efforts to upscale our global partnerships and establish a framework based on cooperation in the field of food security to achieve mutual benefits," stated Almheiri, who was accompanied by Mansour Abdullah Khalfan Belhoul, the UAE Ambassador to the United Kingdom. 
"The UAE and UK share strong historical ties and have strategic partnerships in several areas, with food security being one. The UK is ranked third in the Global Food Security Index and as such, has comprehensive experience in the field," she noted. 
"This presents us with a great opportunity to study best practices and leading projects, to work together to develop mechanisms to enhance bilateral food trade, to develop more food security projects in the UAE and to attract further investments to our food sector," added Almheiri.
The first day of her visit saw a high-level meeting attended by Conor Burns, the UK Minister of State for International Trade, as well as senior officials from the ministry, representatives from the UK’s most prominent food companies and a group of high-profile investors. 
During the meeting, Almheiri asserted that collaboration can be enhanced by expanding bilateral food trade and encouraging further investment in the UAE’s food sector, as well as outlined the National Food Security Strategy and the leading food and agricultural initiatives and projects currently underway in the UAE.
The UK, she stated, had an inspiring track-record in the fields of research and development and in sustainable food production. 
"We, in turn, strive to employ the best expertise and experiences, taking into consideration the UAE’s unique climactic conditions and to leverage all possible means to achieve the targets of the National Food Security Strategy," noted Almheiri. 
We are working towards securing a top 10 position on the Global Food Security Index by 2021 and to carve out a pivotal role in international efforts to achieve global food security," she explained.
Burns reaffirmed that the UAE and UK share close ties across an array of sectors. 
He also underlined the importance of sustaining such strong relations and of working on common issues, citing the UK’s participation in Expo 2020 Dubai and the efforts to increase food trade between the two countries.
Almheiri later gave a presentation on the pillars of the UAE’s National Food Security Strategy, its efforts, achievements and ambitions to achieve food security based on innovation and modern technology.
On the second day, Almheiri visited Norwich Research Park in Norwich, England. She also went on a tour of the Sainsbury Laboratory, one of the world’s largest food research centres.-TradeArabia News Service


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