First shipment of Pakistani fresh halal meat successfully reached United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Monday.
According to media reports, the shipment was sent as per agreement signed between Pakistan’s Foodex and UAE’s General Trading Company.
Pakistan’s Additional Commercial Secretary Kamran Khan was present on the occasion.
Earlier, UAE and Pakistani businessmen had signed deals worth nearly $200 million during the Expo Pakistan 2017 which was held in Karachi on November 9-12.
The UAE-based company Al-Tayeb International General Trading and Foodex Pakistan had reached an agreement on the import of Pakistani meat during the Expo Pakistan 2017.
Pakistan is the fifth largest exporter of fresh halal meat and meat products to UAE with an average annual export of around $100 million. Whereas, UAE’s total imports of fresh meat, beef, mutton and lamb etc. is around $750 to 800 million.
There is a huge potential for Pakistani meat in UAE market, said Kamran Khan, Commercial Secretary, Embassy of Pakistan, Abu Dhabi. He said the demand is partly due to the presence of 1.5 million Pakistani expats in UAE, but mainly because of the halal characteristics and nutritional value of the Pakistani meat and meat products.
Commenting on the issues faced by meat exporters, he explained that majority of the fresh meat shipments are airlifted from Pakistan due to delays in sea shipments which raises the cost rendering Pakistani products less competitive in terms of price.
Khan said the Embassy of Pakistan has taken up the matter with relevant authorities in Pakistan to introduce a specialized fast speed cargo vessel between Karachi and UAE to reduce transit time and cost. “This would not only help our meat exporters but would also enable exporters of fresh fruits and vegetables to ship perishable items through sea at a reduced cost.”
Meanwhile, according to reports, Pakistan’s meat exports are on the decline despite a global trend of rapid growth.
The Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) figures that the country’s meat exports have dropped to $140.345m in the first eight months of the ongoing year, from $188.345m a year ago.
International meat trade on the other hand has risen by 16pc to touch the $700bn mark.