The newly restructured Foodstuff Trade and Industry Sector Business Group, operating under the umbrella of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), has organized its first meeting today (Tuesday) to discuss the group's mission and the pivotal role its members can play in fostering productive communication between sector investors, workers, the chamber, and pertinent government agencies.
Held at the chamber's headquarters, the meeting delved into the current state and prospective future of Sharjah's food sector. The attendees explored potential avenues for expanding exports, along with strategies for monitoring international markets to bolster local production. Additionally, they identified potential obstacles within the sector and brainstormed practical solutions to these challenges.
A significant portion of the discussion was also dedicated to reinforcing efforts to further the UAE's strategic objectives in achieving and maintaining food security. The group emphasized the country's advantageous position, built on its advanced logistics infrastructure, robust international trade relations, and innovative strategies in this field.
The meeting was attended by Abdul Aziz Shattaf, Assistant Director-General for the Communications and Business Sector; Jamal Saeed Buzangal, Director of Corporate Communications; Mohammed Itani, Chairman of the Foodstuff Trade and Industry Sector Business Group; and members of the group, including Fatima Al Shehhi, the Business Groups' executive.
Abdul Aziz Shattaf kicked off the gathering by welcoming the new members, and lauding the accomplishments of the group's previous tenure, which significantly enhanced the sector's standing and underscored Sharjah's prominent position in the regional and local economic landscape. Shattaf reaffirmed that the group plays a key role in doubling Sharjah's exports and penetrating new global markets.
He noted that sectoral business groups have become crucial partners to the chamber, enhancing communication with the private sector within the emirate. Shattaf added that these groups are instrumental in understanding their visions and proposals and in tackling the challenges these sectors face and that their collective effort ensures the interests of member economic institutions by launching initiatives that serve the foodstuff trade and industry sector and the local community, thereby bolstering the emirate's economic performance and competitiveness.
Shattaf underscored the vital role of the food trade and industry sector in augmenting the UAE's food capital and bolstering its adaptability to changes. He stressed the necessity for the food sector in Sharjah to diversify logistics services and stay abreast of the latest trends in the food industry, while anticipating future prospects. This strategic approach is essential to fulfilling and achieving the UAE's food security goals for 2051.
The Chairman and members of the Foodstuff Trade and Industry Sector Business Group extended their gratitude to the Sharjah Chamber for its ongoing support, applauding its relentless efforts in developing beneficial programs and surmounting the obstacles facing investors and workers in the emirate's food sector. They reiterated their commitment to achieving the group's objectives and enhancing communication with investors and government sectors, while spotlighting opportunities to grow and sustain the sector.
The meeting also explored strategies to broaden the presence of food companies in local and international food sector exhibitions to facilitate the opening of new markets for the emirate's products and solidify relationships and partnerships between business owners and their international counterparts.
Aisha Saleh, from the Chamber's Social Responsibility Department, delivered a presentation on the main benefits provided by the Sharjah Chamber's platform for social responsibility. The platform primarily focuses on showcasing the contributions of members and sharing inspiring models in this area.
During the meeting, Ali Al Ali, Senior Vice President of Business Development at the Emirates Development Bank, reviewed the financing solutions offered by the bank to companies operating in the food and beverage industries. He highlighted the services and privileges provided to investors, as well as the procedures established by the bank to secure financing to enhance the private sector's contribution to the country's economic and industrial development.