On 17-20 February 2917, the Secretary of State Zbigniew Babalski paid a visit to the United Arab Emirates.
Photo. Meeting with the Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, Majid Al Qassimi
Its objective was to discuss with the Emirati partners a possibility of intensifying Polish-Emirati cooperation in the field of agriculture, with a particular emphasis on a possibility of extending access of Polish agri-food products to the Emirati market and developing trade cooperation. The visit was held on the occasion of the Gulfood Fair.
During meetings with the representatives of UAE administration: Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Economy, Abdullah Al Saleh, Minister of State for Food Security, Mariam Hareb Al Muhairi and Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, Majid Al Qassimi, Poland discussed the current state of agreements on access of Polish agri-food products to the Emirati market. The Main Inspector of Plant Health and Seed Inspection Andrzej Chodkowski and Chief Veterinary Officer Paweł Niemczuk explained the details of the procedures being carried out. During the talks, they also discussed a possibility of developing scientific cooperation, which was very well received by the Emirati interlocutors.
When talking with Minister Zbigniew Babalski, Minister Al Muhairi expressed her willingness to become familiar with the scope of activities of research centres in Poland so as to identify the areas potentially relevant to implementing the Emirati food security strategy. For this purpose, a possibility for the representatives of UAE administration to pay a visit to Poland is being considered.
During the meeting at the Ministry of Economy of the UAE, both parties expressed their interest in joint ventures to intensify economic cooperation in the agricultural sector. They talked about, inter alia, joint economic missions of companies from both countries scheduled for May 2018. Poland expressed satisfaction with an opportunity to have presented its offer at the national stand during the prestigious fair event, i.e. Gulfood 2018 fair in Dubai.
The discussions at the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment included many aspects of cooperation on the food production in Poland. The Secretary of State assured of the high standards of food safety in Poland. The Emirates expressed interest in broadening cooperation by the supply of feed products for own agricultural activities. Also the Polish offer of the scientific institutes supervised by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development enjoyed great interest of the partners from the UAE.
At the Polish national stand, the Deputy Minister also met with the representatives of the Management Board of the Lulu Group, the second largest hypermarket operator in both the UAE and other countries of the Gulf. In order to become familiar with the possibilities of broadening the range of Polish agri-food products in the group’s offer, the representatives of the above-mentioned companies expressed great interest in paying a visit to Poland.
Secretary of State Zbigniew Babalski also talked with the Director of the Food Control Department at the Dubai City Office, Essam Sayed Sharaf Al Hashima on easier access of Polish agri-food products to the UAE market.
During the visit, there were also meetings with the representatives of business communities and media. The Deputy Minister met with the Polish exhibitors, present at the exhibition as part of the national stand of the National Agricultural Support Centre, promotion programme of the National Poultry Council “European poultry – the power of quality” and with individual exhibitors. The presence of 60 Polish exhibitors attests to the great interest of Polish business in the Emirati market and in the markets of the countries of the region. The Polish exhibitors were also visited by Minister Mariam Al Muhairi who became familiar with the wide offer of Polish agri-food products promoted during Gulfood 2018.
Poland records the steady increase in trade in agri-food products with the United Arab Emirates. In 2017, the value of export to this market amounted to nearly EUR 85 million and the turnover exceeded EUR 88 million. Major products for export are still food products, confectionery and cigarettes. On a basis of existing cooperation, trade results as well as the interests of companies, the market is rated in Poland as prospective for agri-food companies. The UAE remains one of the target non-European foreign markets on which the promotional measures of the Polish agricultural resort are focused.