Abu Dhabi - Italian agro-food exports to the UAE are worth over 300 million, with over 180 companies showcasing products right from olive oil and balsamic vinegar to pasta and confectionery, Italy has a strong presence at Gulfood 2018. In an exclusive interview with Khaleej Times, Liborio Stellino, Ambassador of Italy to the UAE, shares that the exhibition continues to be a major event for the Italian agro-food industry and there has always been a massive presence of Italian companies across all sectors.
"The UAE market for the Italian agro-food sector stands at more than 300 million," says Stellino. "Inside this value, there are interesting dynamics and we have observed a tremendous increase in the demand for healthy products such as gluten-free, organic, etc. This highlights that consumers in this market have high awareness. We have invited companies offering these niche products to increase their presence here. Many exhibitors have been participating at the show for the past 10 years and highlighted that they return every year to build contacts not only for export to the UAE but also for export to Africa and the Far East. This is an added value and makes Gulfood the perfect platform". According to the Ambassador, Italy and the UAE share a remarkable relationship and trade statistics highlight that Italy exports up to ?5 billion worth of products to the UAE, a country that has a population of around 9 million people. "The capacity of absorption of this market is really high and the exchange at all levels is great as there is mutual understanding and trust. The sense of family is very similar between the two countries and there are cultural and sociological affinities that make the relationship between the two countries easy" , he adds.