Food from Serbia will reach the Emirates market more easily

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The United Arab Emirates is a promising market for the export of chicken eggs, walnuts, cranberries, blueberries, frozen and dried vegetables, which will be facilitated after the signing of the free trade agreement.

The free trade agreement with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) could be signed in the next three months, which will enable our food and other producers to export goods to that market without restrictions. The UAE imports more than 80 percent of food products and represents the link for the entire MEASA region – the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, which opens up great opportunities for export to Serbian businessmen. The Serbian Chamber of Commerce (PKS) states that the UAE is an important foreign trade partner in the Persian Gulf region. As products that have potential for export to this market, they single out automatic circuit breakers for a voltage of less than 1,000 volts (parts of electrical equipment), which, according to data for 2019, the UAE imported worth 130 million dollars.

– Trade in fruit already exists, especially fresh apples, but also frozen berries (due to the characteristics of the fruit itself and the length of transport). Plums and peaches or nectarines and the products obtained by processing these fruits also have considerable potential. The UAE is a promising market for the export of chicken eggs, walnuts, cranberries, blueberries and frozen and dried vegetables. The placement of medicinal herbs is also possible – note from PKS.

For Serbian goods to enter the Emirates market, it is crucial that we have secured certificates for the export of beef and lamb meat and processed products, as well as milk and dairy products. Also, wooden furniture has the potential to increase exchange. Serbia could export construction carpentry and other wooden construction products to the UAE.

– Textile products, specifically undershirts, T-shirts, and similar goods have potential for export. Although in this sector there is competition from Turkey, which is also closer to the UAE – according to PKS.

This market is specific and has its own habits, which can be seen most in the example of their cooperation with Great Britain, where most of the goods in the UAE come from. It is interesting that Serbian raspberries and other fruits reach this market but through British intermediaries. The free trade agreement between Serbia and the UAE should break that barrier and allow our businessmen to export their own products that are competitive and in demand in the UAE. If we are able to package and promote them well, we will easily increase our export results. The main impression from last year’s “Galfood” fair, the largest food fair in that part of the world, is that the Emiratis want to cooperate with our business people, which enabled a good political relationship between the two governments.

According to available data from the Republic Institute of Statistics, the total foreign trade exchange with the UAE amounted to 75.4 million dollars in 2021, which is 37.5 percent less than in 2020, when it was 120 million. Serbia exported military goods, apples, pasta, cigarettes, beech wood, jet fuel and tires worth 66.3 million dollars to the UAE. That’s down 29.3 percent from 2020. We bought $9.1 million worth of polyethylene, medical furniture, pressure and gas gauges from the Emirates, down more than 65 percent from 2020. Exchange in Services is two and a half times higher, which shows that the sophistication of our economy is much more in line with theirs than in the goods we export, said Prime Minister Ana Brnabić during yesterday’s visit to Dubai.

The UAE is an open economy characterized by a high GDP per capita and a large surplus. Thanks to the government’s efforts, economic diversification has reduced the economy’s reliance on oil and gas, which today account for only 25 percent of the total GDP, with the economy being redirected to aluminum production, tourism, telecommunications, information technology and renewable energy sources, Politika writes.

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