- K-Food Fair 2017 at Westin Hotel, Al Habtoor City in Dubai brings 25 exporters and manufactures from South Korea under one roof
- aT Center Abu Dhabi and Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Dubai aims to bring together South Korean exporters and buyers from the MENA region
DUBAI – October 25, 2017: K-Food Fair, the annual Korean festival organized by Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation (aT Center) in Abu Dhabi, opened at the Westin Hotel in Al Habtoor City, Dubai. The South Korean Government aims to introduce more manufacturers and exporters to this region with this festival.
The annual festival is organized to expand the reach of South Korean food by exploring export opportunities and building more inroads for Korean companies in the MENA region. The festival brings exporters and manufacturers from South Korea and MENA under one roof to exchange ideas and build business relations.
With the two-day festival, the aTCenter Abu Dhabi creates a large-scale platform for various South Korean companies and buyers from the MENA region to come together, share ideas and create export pathways.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Government of South Korea, the combined trade between the UAE and South Korea alone has grown by 12 per cent in 2017 as compared to 2016. The food export from South Korea to the UAE was recorded at US$ 310 million during this time.
Speaking about the UAE and South Korea relations, Mr. Bong Seok, Song, Director General of aT Center Abu Dhabi, said, “An overwhelming response we received last year with this festival reiterates that there is a big market for South Korean food in the UAE. We are grateful to the UAE Government for supporting our efforts to bring Korean agricultural products and cultural elements closer to the UAE. One of the key objectives of the K-Food Fair in Dubai is to blend these Korean features into developing and enhancing peoples understanding of the Korean culture and create symbolic events portraying South Korea. Through this we also aim to increase awareness about the Korean Ginseng and its benefits.”
“The K-Food Fair 2017 is not only a festival for exporters and manufacturers to meet but also for the people to experience various aspects of South Korea. We are indeed thankful to the UAE Government for recognizing our efforts and helping us along the way. We are confident that in the coming years there will be more such events and festivals where South Korean companies can showcase their products and learn about the local market,” he added.
The Day-one of the festival featured sessions on the import and export of Korean foodstuff including rice and ginseng; as well as product presentations from key exhibitors. The Day-two of the event will feature 25 food exporters and manufacturers from South Korea welcoming over 80 buyers from the MENA region.
Before the proceedings of K-Food Fair 2017, in the morning of the 1st Day, The Consulate General of the Republic of Korea hosted a seminar on Korean Rice and Food Products under the patronage of Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea. The seminar is focused on three topics - “Misunderstandings and Nutritional Excellence of Rice” by Dr. Kim Hyeyoung, Professor of food and nutrition from Yongin University, “The coffee lovers are hooked on Rice Crackers” by Mr. Sungwon Kim, Manager of MIDM Agricultural Cooperative and “Korean Processed Rice Foods” by Mr. Cho Hyungki, Manager of Korea Rice Foodstuff Association. The experts in rice food helped the audience to have a better understanding of Korean rice food and its benefits.
In his inaugural speech, H.E. Heo Namduk, Consul General of the Republic of Korea in Dubai, said, “Rice has been very important cultivated crop in Korean's life since long time ago. Rice covers 90 percent of total grain production and over 40 percent of farm income in Korea. In 2016, rice production was 4 million metric tons. We have many kinds of rice foods such as rice cookie, rice noodle and rice cake etc. With this seminar, I hope that export of Korean rice and rice products to UAE and MENA will rise up in the future.”
Key seminar sessions of K-Food Fair 2017 were held from the afternoon of the first day.
A seminar on Ginseng featured Prof. Seikwan Oh from the School of Medicine at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, South Korea. Prof. Seikwan introduced the miracle herb and initiated steps to educate those present about the benefits of using Ginseng as a supplement for a healthier and well-balanced lifestyle. ‘s
Mr. Young Han Song of CJ Korea Express also presented a seminar on the growing import and export relations between South Korea and the MENA region and the difficulties faced towards food import permissions by the South Korean exporters.
The UAE is home to more than 150 South Korean companies. The UAE plays a significant and strategic role due to its geographic and economic position in the region. Currently South Korea shares strong bilateral ties with the UAE especially in the fields of nuclear energy and infrastructure. The UAE and South Korea have also recently sealed an agreement to boost co-operation in agriculture and Halal food exports.
The exporters and manufacturers to be featured in the festival includes – OKF, KO-A Trading, Dong-jin Pharmaceutical, Food Berry, Ginlac Kuan, Bogoshinyak, Korean Pear Export, Hainong, Serim, Tutto, Haeyeareum, Haenong Food, Brand Acumen, Danurim, Nokchawon, Bedelkorea, Daedong Korea Ginseng, Flanet, MIDM Agricultural Union corp, 21 Lazy Farmer, Renewallife, Erom Global, Young Poong and The Korea Foodstuffs Association from South Korea.
The aT Center has established a foundation for the development of the Korean food industry through support for food companies, systematization of food industry information, nurturing of professional workforce since its establishment in the UAE in 2016.