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Afghan exports go on display at Dubai expo

Afghan exports go on display at Dubai expo

By
On
Feb 21, 2018 - 20:00

KABUL (Pajhwok): Afghanistan’s finest fruits, nuts, and saffron went on display this week for buyers around the world at the world’s largest food and beverage exhibition in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

This year, 27 Afghan exhibitors are participating in the expo, which runs through February 22, to promote their products and sign deals with buyers, according to a statement from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which is supporting the participation of Afghan agribusinesses at the Gulfood Exhibition for the eighth consecutive year.

The event offers a critical opportunity for Afghan exporters of high-end produce to get a foothold in lucrative overseas markets such as Dubai, an important international hub for regional food exports.

“Gulfood was an excellent opportunity last year,” said King Khan Company CEO Bilal Khan, an Afghan businessman and second-time attendee who exports fruits and nuts. “I negotiated an astonishing $1.3 million in trade contracts last year, and I am hoping to get even more this year. There is a lot of interest in Afghan produce.”

Now in its 23rd year, Gulfood encompasses one million square feet of exhibition space for 5,000 exhibitors from the food, drink, foodservices, and hospitality industries. Last year’s exhibition saw more than 97,000 visitors during the five-day event.

USAID-supported exporters have secured tens of millions of dollars in deals since Afghan participation began in 2011. Last year, Afghan traders signed $7.1 million in contracts for 1.5 million kilograms of agricultural goods.

Agriculture is the backbone of Afghanistan’s economy. Up to 80 percent of Afghans are dependent on farming and livestock, and agriculture contributes 25 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.

The Afghanistan Pavilion is located in Hall No. 9, Stands G9-1 and H9-1 of the Dubai World Trade Center. Afghan Minister of Agriculture Nasir Ahmad Durrani and Deputy Minister of Commerce and Industries Kamila Siddiqui inaugurated the Afghanistan Pavilion.

pr/ma