UAE – United Arab Emirates (UAE) has signed an agreement with Georgia for a comprehensive economic partnership and free trade between the countries, that will strengthen their economy.

Director of the Export Development Association Georgiy Gurabanidze stated the importance of signing the free trade agreement during the agreement event.

“The country should have as many free trade agreements with developed countries as possible because this is the first and most important lever of our economic independence,” he said.

 “This will ensure we do not depend on volatile markets such as Russia and as for the UAE and the Gulf region, having a free trade agreement with them is critically important.”

It was noted during the agreement that as of January-August 2023, products worth USD 32.43 million were exported from Georgia to the UAE, which is 80% more than in the same period in 2022.

As for imports, over the 8 months of 2023, Georgia received products from the UAE worth USD 244.396 million, 71% more than in the same period in 2022 reported Business Georgia.

The UAE is a net importer of fresh produce, but the demand for local produce is gaining traction among UAE consumers according to a report by Mordor intelligence.

The country has, over the last decade, made tremendous efforts by adopting sustainable and smart agricultural techniques, such as hydroponics, smart irrigation, and aquaponics to improve the optimum utilization of arable land and the quality of local fresh produce.​

In 2020, for instance, the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) announced plans to invest USD 100 million (AED 367 million) in four Agri-tech companies.

Among the selected companies were Aero Farms, Madar Farms, RNZ, and Responsive Drip Irrigation, that will build R&D and production facilities in Abu Dhabi to develop next-generation farming tech, revealed the report.

Recently, another growth initiative in the sector was demonstrated by UAE’s Pure Harvest Smart Farms (Pure Harvest) who announced plans to pioneer CEA in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia regions.

The project’s aim is to harness technology and world-class growing techniques to tackle pressing challenges, including food security.

The company, which is a mission-driven, technology-enabled agribusiness, headquartered in the United Arab Emirates, focuses on the year-round, sustainable production of premium-quality fresh fruits and vegetables.

“Ever since we’ve demonstrated that we can produce tomatoes of consistently high quality, we were set to expand our operations,” explained Jan Prins, Head Grower at Pure Harvest in an interview with Fresh Plaza.

The company indeed currently supplies over 3,000 kg of strawberries each week from its original Al Ain hybrid greenhouse, which is now used exclusively for R&D. 

Currently, according to a report by Mordor Intelligence, the UAE vegetable and fruit market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.20% from 2023 to 2028, with the market size increasing from USD 4.25 billion in 2023 to USD 6.30 billion in 2028.

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