Sunday 10, September 2017 by Jessica Combes

Dubai Food Park inks AED 1.35 billion investment agreement


Dubai Food Park (DFP), the region’s specialised zone dedicated to serving the rapidly-growing food sector, has signed an AED 1.35 billion investment agreement with Ningxia Forward Fund Management Company to build a China-UAE food industrial cluster in Dubai.

The strategic agreement will significantly consolidate China’s stake in the burgeoning Middle East food industry and further expand bilateral relations.

The agreement was signed by Abdulla Belhoul, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Wholesale City, and a representative from Ningxia Forward Fund Management Company, on the sidelines of the third edition of the China – Arab States Expo in China’s northwest autonomous region Ningxia’s capital Yinchuan, that drew the participation of a high-level UAE delegation.

“Since the establishment of the UAE federation, our wise leadership has worked relentlessly to foster cordial relations with the wider regional and international community. The partnership between Dubai Food Park and China’s Ningxia Forward Fund Management Company reflects the global interest in entering Dubai and the UAE markets to benefit from the country’s world-class ground, marine, and aerial infrastructure as well as its strategic location at the crossroads between East and West. Through this new synergy, we aspire to cement long-standing relations with China to ensure the sustainable development of both our countries,” said Abdulla Al Habbai, Chairman of Dubai Holding.

Spanning an area of 406,915 square metre, the China-UAE Food Industrial cluster will be home to 30 food plants, including two Chinese catering companies and two advanced manufacturing plants for food packaging materials. The project is scheduled for hand over 24 months from date of commencing its construction.

“This agreement comes at an important time, given the urgent global need to enhance collaboration on food security through increasing the physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food. The partnership marks a step forward into strengthen bilateral relations at various levels, particularly trade and economic relations between the UAE and China,” said Abdullah Belhoul, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Wholesale City.

The project will ultimately comprise six major components: meals processing, packaged food processing, cold chain storage, production of food packages, e-commerce and commodities exhibition and bio-safety disposal of wastewater and wastes. Food processing will take centre stage within the plant’s operations: 75 per cent of the total project area will be allocated for factories, 17 per cent for warehouses and eight per cent divided between offices and other facilities.

span style="font-size: small;"> “In line with the Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030, once complete, the China-UAE Food Industrial cluster will comprise a globally important, modern, low-carbon and digital food processing and trading centre in the Middle East that integrates processing of meals, processing of packaged food, cold chain storage, production of food packages, e-commerce and commodities exhibition, bio-safety disposal of wastewater and solid waste,” added Belhoul.

Belhoul pointed out that Dubai Food Park would continue to enter strategic partnerships that contribute to the diversification of the national economy, offering greater investment opportunities to ensure sustainable economic development. He added that these opportunities would enhance the UAE’s global competitiveness, as well as its status as a capital for the Halal industry that is set to witness astronomical growth in the years to come.

“This agreement goes a long way in boosting China’s economic synergies with the UAE that is already our leading trade partner in the region. Such agreements help us meet the objectives of China’s Belt and Road initiative, and create large-scale employment opportunities and trade benefits for the world’s nations,” said a spokesperson from Ningxia Forward Fund Management Company.

China's non-financial foreign investment increased by 352 per cent in the first nine months of 2017, compared to the same period last year. The number of Chinese companies registered with the UAE Ministry of Economy has also exceeded 4,000 till date in 2017.

Dubai Holding launched Dubai Food Park in July 2017 in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The first-of-its-kind in the region, DFP is expected to build on Dubai’s position as a leading regional hub for foodstuffs and food re-export.


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