Indonesia is eying food markets through the Food Africa 2022 exhibition to meet demands of these commodities in the Middle East and North Africa.
Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – Indonesia’s Ministry of Trade continues to make efforts to expand the market share of food and beverage products in the Middle East and North Africa through the Food Africa 2022, the ministry said here on Tuesday.
Indonesia is taking part in the 7th global trade exhibition, the Food Africa 2022, which is taking place on December 8, 2022 at the Egypt International Exhibitions Center in Cairo, Egypt.
“Egypt is an important trading partner for Indonesia. The total trade between Indonesia and Egypt in 2021 was recorded at 1.86 billion U.S. dollars or grew by 57.6 percent even in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic,” Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan said in an official statement at his ministry.
Indonesia’s participation in the Food Africa 2022 is not just about opening export market access for business people, but at the same time as an effort to strengthen trade relations between the two countries, the minister said.
The Director General of National Export Development at the ministry, Didi Sumedi, said that Indonesia’s participation in this global food exhibition shows a real commitment of the country’s ministry to expand its export market share to non-traditional countries.
In addition, the holding of Food Africa 2022 aims to meet the increasing demands for food and beverage products in the local market, Didi added.
“Several factors triggering the rising demands include an increasingly dense demography with a population increase of 2.3 percent-2.5 percent per year, an increase in the people’s income of which around 30 percent is spent on foods, as well as the rapid addition of shopping centers, hotels and restaurants including fast food shops,” he noted.
Didi also hoped that the participation of Indonesian companies in the event would increase exports of Indonesian processed foods to Egypt.
Apart from Egypt, Didi further said, Indonesia’s participation in Food Africa 2022 is also targeted to be able to penetrate other export markets in the Middle East and Africa.
For the Middle East region, the value of Indonesia’s processed food exports in the January-September 2022 period was 244.75 million U.S. dollars and in 2021 it reached 275.23 million dollars.
As for the African market, the export value in the January-September 2022 period was 129.01 million dollars and throughout 2021 it was recorded at 158.81 million dollars.
Indonesia’s Ambassador to Egypt Lutfi Rauf, who inaugurated the Indonesian Pavilion at the exhibition, said that the market segment for Indonesian products in Egypt is the local processing industry which requires semi-finished raw materials from the business actor in Indonesia.
“We are optimistic that the Indonesian Pavilion at Food Africa 2022 will further open opportunities for Indonesia’s non-oil and non-gas export markets to Egypt, especially CPO (crude palm oil), spices, cooking spices, coffee, chocolate, food and beverages, as well as derivative agricultural products,” Lutfi said.
According to Lutfi, optimism for the success of the Indonesian Pavilion is also based on the fact that Indonesia-Egypt trade relations have strengthened as marked by an increase in bilateral trade transactions by 56 percent in 2021.
“The driving factor is Egypt’s population growth, which has now reached more than 110 million people, and that the pandemic is getting under control. In addition, the Suez Canal trade route also makes Egypt a hub for other countries in the Gulf, Africa and the Middle East region,” he added.
Director of Primary Product Export Development at the ministry, Merry Maryati, said that Indonesia is one of 19 countries participating in this global food exhibition with a total of 442 companies participating.
Merry explained, this exhibition is expected to be visited by more buyers and investors than that last year which recorded 16,233 people from 32 countries.
As in previous years, Merry said, the 2022 food exhibition presents a series of supporting activities such as exploring trade agreements (business matching), conferences, and cooking recipe demos.
This exhibition is also held in conjunction with other exhibitions such as Pacprocess, Dates Africa, Seafood Africa, Fresh Africa, and Ingredients Africa.
“The synergy of the Food Africa 2022 with several other activities makes this exhibition worth participating by export-oriented Indonesian business actors,” she said.
For this reason, the Indonesian Ministry of Trade’s Directorate General of National Export Development is providing opportunities for local businesses to build business networks with the culinary business world in Egypt and the surrounding areas through this exhibition, Merry added.
The Ministry of Trade through the Directorate General of National Export Development in collaboration with the Indonesian Embassy in Cairo facilitated nine Indonesian business actors to exhibit and promote their products to potential buyers in accredited countries.
The Indonesian Pavilion was also visited by Egypt’s Minister of Trade and Industry Ahmed Samir, Minister of Internal Trade Ali Moselhi, Minister of Tourism and Antique Products Ahmed Issa, and Chair of the Egyptian-Indonesian Business Council (EIBC) Sherif el Gabali.
In the January-September 2022 period, the value of Indonesian processed food exports to Egypt recorded transactions of 16.46 million dollars. Meanwhile in 2021, exports of these commodities were recorded at 25.82 million dollars.
Reporting by Indonesia Window