UAE plans strategic food reserves(Gulf Business Capsule)

April 24th, 2008 - 9:46 pm ICT by admin  

Dubai, April 24 (IANS) The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is working on a national strategy to build substantial food reserves to cope with rising food prices across the world. As part of this move, the Ministry of Economy has signed agreements with major retailers in the country to maintain the prices of 2007 for basic commodities.

“We are only asking retailers to diminish their profit margins in this respect, but not to incur losses, and as a government we do not have subsidies on our agenda,” Economy Minister Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri said at a forum, ‘Challenges 2009′, organized by the Swiss ambassador to the UAE.

“Inflation is one of the most crucial challenges facing us in 2009, especially for the Middle East countries, where the world’s most active economies are,” the minister said.

“In the UAE we seek to curb inflation through the application of local policies such as consumer protection and our agreement with retailers.

“I cannot reveal any assessment for inflation at this point as we are working out the issue at the cabinet at present, and we will announce accordingly,” Al Mansouri said.

According to him, the country also faces challenges of the volatile international financial market, achieving the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) monetary union, rising commodities prices especially energy, exchange rates, and global warming.


Kerala cashew firm launches products in Dubai

The Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation Ltd (KSCDC), a state government-owned enterprise, has launched four newly developed value-added products for the global market in Dubai.

Marketed as CDC Cashews, the products include the flavoured cashew soup in powder form, a ready-to-drink mix when added with hot water; pure cashew powder, which can be added to all food times during preparation; the health instant drink mix, Cashew Vita, and a cashew mixture called Cashew Bits, the Khaleej Times reported.

Indian Consul General to Dubai Venu Rajamony launched the products saying that people from across the globe visit the city, which is fast becoming a global trade hub for business purposes.

K.A. Retheesh, managing director of KSCDC, expressed confidence that the products would be a big hit in the global market.


Saudi inflation could cross 10 percent

Inflation in Saudi Arabia could cross 10 percent this year but consumer price rises could ease in the second half as anti-inflationary government measures take hold and lower global demand for commodities feeds into prices, according to the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA).

“If inflation continues to grow at the same pace of the previous months, then it will rise to and can exceed 10 percent,” the Arab News quoted SAMA governor Hamad Al-Sayari as saying.

“But as a result of both expectations of a decline in global demand for commodities because of the US economic slowdown and the effectiveness of the government measures, it might decrease in the second half. However, these remain forecasts.”

Inflation in the kingdom almost doubled in the six months to February to at least a 27-year high of 8.7 percent as rents surged 18 percent and food prices jumped 13 percent.

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