Government Subsidies Underpinning Huge Export Promotion Growth
Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Turkey is looking to become a dominant player in the GCC and Middle East food manufacturing, processing and finished product supply chain basing its claim on trusted Halal expertise, alignment with regional tastes, market proximity and competitive value.
One of 29 national pavilions taking part in the giant Gulfood Manufacturing show, which is currently running at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) alongside the niche Speciality Food Festival, the Turkish presence boasts 160 companies – 50 per cent more than last year – spread across the two.
And, SELTEN Co. – the company charged by the Turkish Ministry of Economic Development with spearheading the promotion – said 2017 will see the country expand its GCC promotions further as it looks to build its share of a Middle East and North Africa (MENA) f&b market predicted to achieve 7.4% annual growth to 2020 according to Euromonitor International.
“We had a waiting list to take part in these two exhibitions this year and have already sold-out the pavilion we plan for Gulfood in February next year,” said Ender Karabulut, Sales Manager, SELTEN. “This time next year you’ll see Turkey back here with more growth and a bigger product range providing we can secure space from the organisers.”
Enders said the MENA f&b sector has been prioritised by the Turkish government which is now offering Turkish exhibitors 50 per cent subsidies to take part in the prime DWTC shows serving the sectors.
“We have suppliers across the full value chain here from raw material providers, to technology to finished product,” said Enders.
“There are a number of reasons the Turkish influence on the region’s f&b market is growing,” said Karabulut. “Key among these is that the Middle Eastern markets want Halal products and Turkey is trusted with great halal expertise and our confectionery production, which satisfies Middle Eastern tastes, is making huge headway here. In addition, Turkey is close to these markets and our value pricing makes us highly competitive against other European producers.”
Turkey’s f&b sector exports now account for 18.9% of the country’s GDP, according to the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation and the country is now self-sufficient in most foods so further export growth is predicted. New f&b segments are being opened up, particularly within Turkey’s seafood sector where aquaculture fisheries are experiencing major development. Melih Isliel, President of the Turkish Seafood Promotion Council said aquaculture exports will rise by 50 per cent by 2023.
A report by global auditing firm PWC says by 2041 Turkey could become the world’s 12th largest economy concentrating of five industry sectors including food processing and the opening up of new export markets. “Continued Foreign Direct Investment may also help to foster a growing agricultural R&D industry,” says the report.
The bullish forecasts have seen an influx of GCC investment into Turkey’s f&b sector. Abu Dhabi’s giant Agthia group acquired Turkish spring water firm Pelit Su, while the UAE investment house Abraaj has taken a stake in the Yorsun Group, Turkey’s fourth largest dairy producer. Bahrain’s Investcorp has also taken a stake in meat producer, Namet Turkei.
Turkey first began its springboard into the region’s f&b market with a promotion at DWTC’s Gulfood show in 2003. “Since then Turkish participation has consistently grown year-on-year and its presence at Gulfood Manufacturing, now in its third year, has delivered the same level of sustainable expansion,” said Mark Napier, Gulfood Manufacturing – Exhibition Director, DWTC. “It is now a mainstay of all DWTC’s f&b related events and of the MENA region’s f&b export scene.”
Gulfood Manufacturing 2016 is an impressive 20 per cent larger than last year’s event and will see 1,600 international food manufacturers, suppliers and industry service providers fill 13 DWTC halls. The show will be split into three specialist areas across more than 77,000 square metres of exhibition space: Ingredients Middle East; ProPack Middle East covering automation, processing equipment and packaging machinery and Logistics Solutions Middle East for firms involved in materials handling, transport, IT and technology solutions, warehousing and facilitators and service providers.
DWTC has also rolled out its most extensive Hosted Buyer Programme for the show which is sponsored by Tetra Pak. More than 2,000 of the region’s most prominent industrial buyers are attending the event having been supported with complimentary flights, accommodation and transport to and from the show.
The show is also hosting a series of specialist conferences, including the Food Logistics Forum – the region’s only F&B specific logistics event to probe critical issues shaping the future profitability and sustainability of the entire food value chain.
Gulfood Manufacturing is open between 10am – 6pm on November 8 and 10am – 5pm on November 9. Attendance, which is free-of-charge, is for trade professionals only. For more information, please visit: gulfoodmanufacturing.com.