JEDDAH, March 28, 2011 (News Agencies)-- .
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have been ranked among New Zealand’s 18 fastest growing Food & Beverage (F&B) markets, according to new statistics from the World Trade Atlas. in Abu Dhabi
Saudi Arabia was placed 12th out of the 18 fastest growing markets in 2010, followed by the UAE in 18th position. Egypt was also ranked in the top thirty, indicating strong potential growth for New Zealand F&B trade in the wider Middle East.
Wayne Mikkelsen, New Zealand Trade Commissioner, said: "The GCC and the Middle East as a whole is an increasingly important contributor to New Zealand’s economic prosperity, as evidenced by these new statistics. F&B products form the basis of New Zealand’s trade to the Gulf, and we see great potential to grow these exports further and strengthen the trade relationship between New Zealand and the Middle East."
"New Zealand has strong trade relations across the Middle East and there is potential for further economic growth across North Africa. As we continue to engage New Zealand F&B companies in these markets, increased exports will have positive implications for New Zealand and Middle East markets with increased local economic activity and growth for both parties," he added.
Statistics showed a 53 percent growth in F&B exports from New Zealand to Saudi Arabia, for the year ending December 2010, with a total of $396.6 million in F&B related exports to this Gulf state. These exports are predominantly made up of dairy products including milk powder, butter and cheese, meat, whey and malt extract.
The UAE received over $240 million in F&B exports from New Zealand in the same time frame, registering a 28 percent growth. The key exports to this market are dairy products, fresh fruits such as apples and kiwifruit, beef and lamb as well as seafood.
Bahrain has long been a market of significance for New Zealand and exports between New Zealand and Bahrain for the year ending December 2010 totaled $51m, which indicates an 11 percent growth on the previous year.
A number of successful New Zealand F&B companies are active in the Gulf, building trade relationships across the region and contributing to the rapid increase in F&B exports over recent years.