Hon Ken Baston MLC

Hon Ken Baston MLC

Former Minister for Agriculture and Food; Fisheries

    Visit builds food trade ties with Middle East

    27/10/2015 9:15 AM
    • Mission to the Middle East to focus on agriculture and food trade opportunities

    A delegation to the Middle East will investigate trade and investment opportunities for the Western Australian agriculture and food sector.


    Agriculture and Food Minister Ken Baston said the Middle East was a diverse and valuable trading region for Western Australia's agrifood industries.  


    The trade visit will include Qatar, United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Egypt.


    "Food security is an important issue for the Middle East, as they import more than 90 per cent of their total food requirements," Mr Baston said.


    "This mission will complement government-led initiatives to support industry to develop high-value, high-growth trade opportunities for WA agrifood businesses, and provide the opportunity to learn more about the investors' perspective in terms of commitment of capital to WA agrifood businesses' development."


    The four markets have collectively been worth $2 billion to the Western Australian agrifood industry over the past five years.


    "The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are traditionally significant markets for Western Australian grains, including barley, canola and wheat; and sheep meat," the Minister said.


    "Qatar presents significant opportunities in terms of strengthening investment ties.  Egypt is a potentially valuable market for Western Australia's grains and meat."


    In Dubai, the delegation will attend Gulfood Manufacturing exhibition, the region's biggest food and beverage processing industry event, and the Middle East Seafood Exhibition (SEAFEX).


    Mr Baston will also attend the Murdoch University Dubai Campus Alumni reception.


    The Minister said the State Government was committed to supporting industry in harnessing export growth opportunities.


    "The Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia, supports a number of internationally-based agricultural officers in WA Trade and Investment Offices, including Dubai," he said.


    The visit will support building relationships with key customers and raising the profile of Western Australia in the region.


    Fact File

    • The delegation includes Agriculture and Food Minister Ken Baston, Trevor Whittington, Bruce Mullan (Department of Agriculture and Food), Brianna Peake (CBH Group), Pankaj Savara (Western Australian Trade Office Commissioner, Middle East and Africa)
    • The United Arab Emirates was WA's seventh largest market in 2014-15, valued at A$227m, led by canola (A$106m), sheep (A$24m), lamb (A$23m) and carrots (A$18m)
    • Saudi Arabia was valued at A$50m in 2014-15, led by mutton (A$16m), lamb (A$15m), carrots (A$7m) and beef (A$6m)
    • WA agrifood exports to Egypt were valued at $42m in 2014-15, led by wheat (A$19m), cattle (A$12m), sheep (A$3m) and mutton (A$2m)
    • WA agrifood exports to Qatar were valued at $66m in 2014-15 led by sheep (A$28m), wheat (A$14m), lamb (A$14m) and carrots (A$4m)

    Minister's office  - 6552 5400