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Eye of Riyadh
Business & Money | Thursday 14 February, 2019 3:00 am |

Chilean Exports to Mena Region Top Us$425 Million in 2018

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is no longer a hard nut for Chile to crack after it was revealed that exports to the region, from January to November 2018, were valued at US$425,349,135 million (19% y-o-y increase). This growth is partly attributed to robust Chilean walnut exports, according to the latest research from the Trade Commission of Chile.


As an agricultural-friendly country, Chile has around 20 products that are among the most exported globally, these include fresh grapes and blueberries, salmon fillets, dried plums and dried apples.


During the period January - November 2018, Chilean exports of nuts to the world exceeded US$421 million. In the same period, Chilean shipments of walnuts to the Middle East topped US$50 million, with the UAE accounting for US$26 million, followed by Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, equaling the revenue generated for the entire year in 2017


The South American country – whose nuts are renowned for their wide range of health benefits, from supporting weight control to decreasing blood pressure and inflammation due to the high antioxidants and omega-3 essential fatty acids – will be looking to further build on trade links at the 24th edition of Gulfood 2019, which will be held between February 17-21 at Dubai World Trade Centre.


“Thanks to the quality, flavour and yield of our produce and the evolving tastes of Middle East residents, tourist and business visitors, Chilean nut exporters are keen to explore opportunities in the region and introduce even more variation to restaurants and supermarkets.


“The region is fast becoming a hotbed for foodies eager to experience the latest trends on the global culinary scene, combined with a large percentage of the population, particularly in Dubai, looking at healthier equivalents, providing good reason for many nut experts from Chile to refocus their regional expansion plans in the Middle East,” said the Trade Commissioner of Chile in Dubai, Carlos Salas.


A 27-strong delegation of Chilean exporters will be attending the week-long gastronomic showcase, up seven from 2018, in a bid to increase the US$20 million deals completed at last year’s show. They will be showcasing almonds, raisins, dehydrated plums, dehydrated fruits, plum juice, juice powder, peeled and instant oats, concentrated juices of grapes, berries and maqui; honey, olive oil and walnuts.


During Gulfood, Chile will launch their new online platform, ChileB2B, the ecommerce cross-border platform of ProChile, the Chilean Export Promotion Bureau. The platform has been designed to provide buyers with a complete overview of all Chilean products in a central location.


The pavilion will be officially opened at 11am on February 17th and will host daily tastings at 1pm. A networking evening will take place on Tuesday 19th at Toro Toro, Grosvenor House Dubai.


“We are excited about once again showcasing exactly what Chile has to offer importers at Gulfood as the MENA region becomes an increasingly important part of our overall export business,” added Salas.

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