Once more the Italian food has been the focus of one of the events at the Italian Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai: “Lazio cuisine around the world, between trends and visions”. Regione Lazio has presented 29 agri-food products and 36 wines certified by the EU.
The event, organized by the Italian Trade Agency, was attended among others by the Italian Consul General in the UAE, Giuseppe Finocchiaro, the Head of Regione Lazio’s activities at Expo 2020 Dubai, Quirino Briganti, Gambero Rosso President, Paolo Cuccia, and local entrepreneurs in the F&B industry.
To guarantee the basic food needs to its population, the UAE has to import almost 90% of food products, considering that the quantity of food manufactured or grown in the country is very little.
In line with the National Strategy 2051 the UAE is investing in agri-tech and new agricultural techniques such as hydroponics and vertical farms.
Italian agri-food can play an important role in the region, considering the advantages of the Mediterranean diet and the variety and quality of products. However, if we have a closer look at the UAE imports, we will see that, as of August 2021, Germany, UK and France led the UAE import; Italy was behind with only 200 million of Italian export out of total 7 billions.
The UAE represent an unmissable business opportunity for the F&B companies, even those in niche industries like the organic food (80% of organic food in the UAE comes from Italy) and the food service industry (in Dubai there are about 600 5-start hotels and several Michelin starred restaurants).
The Italian National Day held in Expo last November 24th, was the occasion for the UAE and Italy to share ideas and confirm their common values of peace, tolerance and human solidarity.
One of the workshops carried the message “Italy is Back on Track: Recovery, Resilience and Attractiveness”. It highlighted the idea that Italy is a strategic hub for international investments. The UAE is the number one investor in Italy among all GCC countries with FDI for 330 million of Euro in 2020.
Lulu Group International
Lulu Group International is a great example: the Abu Dhabi retail giant, decided to open its own purchasing center for food & beverage for the EMEA area in Milan.
In general, foreign investments registered +5% last year, despite Covid.
The common aim of Italy and the UAE now is to strengthen their economic relationship, as well as their friendship, and become for one another a trusted commercial partner.