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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Dubai — Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), the leading business and logistics hub recorded a total trade growth of 24 percent and an increase of 7 percent in its customer base year-on-year in 2019, reinforcing its status as a preferred destination for businesses related to food and agricultural commodities.
The free zone has a dedicated food and agriculture cluster of 1.57 million square meters with over 550 companies from more than 70 countries, employing over 6,000 people. Thirty-eight percent of these companies are from the Middle East, 23 percent from Asia, 19 percent from Europe, 10 percent from Africa, 8 percent from North America, 1 percent from South America and 1 percent from Oceania.
Jafza is home to some of the region’s top players in the industry such as Bayara, Al Khaleej Sugar, Alokozay, Nestle, Heinz, Unilever, Hunter Foods to name a few. The strategic location and premium facilities of Jafza have made it the preferred destination for many countries globally — including Brazil, the US, Pakistan, Netherlands and South Africa, importing sugar, meat, cocoa, and dairy products. Meanwhile, Iraq, India and Saudi Arabia are among the top export destinations, exporting coffee, tea, fruits, spices and dairy products.
Mohammed Al Muallem, CEO and managing director, DP World, UAE region and CEO of Jafza, said: “We have explored ways to further facilitate food trade and distribution while maintaining the continuity of food supply, which is crucial to the UAE and the region. Our mandate is to prioritize the needs of citizens and residents, and we have worked toward sustainability, ensuring sufficient food is available. We have ensured business continuity and prompt recovery for the post-coronavirus economy.”
“Illustrating Dubai's role as a major gateway for global trade, the emirate’s external food trade volumes in the first half of this year reached nine million tons, representing 32 billion dirhams in total, whereas Dubai’s food imports touched 22 billion dirhams. This demonstrates how robust Dubai’s economy is despite the global COVID-19 pandemic and also underpins the effectiveness of its food security strategies. In line with the newly launched UAE sustainable agriculture system, we aim to support the increase of self-sufficiency from agricultural production and workforce in the agricultural sector,” the CEO of Jafza added.
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