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WATCH: Royals and milk on the table at UAE talks

WATCH: Royals and milk on the table at UAE talks

Tuesday 14 July 2020

WATCH: Royals and milk on the table at UAE talks


Jersey Royal potatoes and milk could be a crucial link in the relationship between the UAE and Jersey, as the island seeks to strengthen its business ties with the nation.

Speaking during a webinar with UAE representatives on the topic of exports and the finance and digital sectors yesterday, Jersey Business CEO Graeme Smith stated that as Jersey moves from crisis to recovery mode in response to covid-19, “export will play a key role, hence why building relationships such as we have with the UAE is so important.”

Continuing to emphasise the importance of exporting Jersey produce, Smith pointed out how “nearly 30% of our revenue comes from exports, exporting premium quality UHT milk, butter and ice cream to areas such as the UK, Hong Kong, China, Japan, South Korea and the UAE", while Jersey Royals bring in an export value of £40m.

Saleh Abdullah Lootah, Chairman of the Food and Beverage Manufacturing Group (Under Dubai Chamber), in response discussed the popularity and demand of both potatoes and milk in the UAE, with statistics showing that more than 194m litres of milk and 250,000 tonnes of potatoes from different countries were imported into the UAE in 2019.

Addressing future trade with the UAE, Smith said that “there is clearly a large expat community and so when identifying the prime export markets, the UAE scores well. Crucially, though, there needs to be a supportive infrastructure.” 

Video: The webinar discussion covered exports, finance and the digital sector.

The talk comes alongside the announcement that a Jersey Diaspora Group has been set up in the UAE this year, reflecting the significant community of Jersey expats emerging there. 

The webinar, which acted as a ‘virtual visit’ for UAE Ambassador to the UK, Mansoor Abulhoul, also covered the announcements that:

  • Jersey and the UAE are working together to form a Bilateral Investment Treaty - an agreement setting out the terms of trade between the pair,
  • and that a business-to-business matchmaking service has been set up in partnership with the UAE Embassy, London, the Ministry of Economy and UAE to help Jersey companies enter the market. 10 companies have already signed up, and several others have expressed interest in joining.

Discussing the jurisdictions’ financial relationship, Jersey Finance CEO Joe Moynihan called Jersey “a jurisdiction of choice amongst GCC investors, particularly in relation to family office work, real estate investment, succession planning, and philanthropy, whilst Jersey offers particular expertise in Islamic finance.”

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Pictured: The UAE imported 250,000 potatoes from different countries last year.

Other pertinent topics included the digital sector and the increasing prominence of FinTech and cryptocurrency, with both UAE and Jersey speakers stressing the importance of investing in the technology. 

FinTech Business Development Manager at Digital Jersey, Jessica Osman, addressed this by talking about the launch of ‘Jersey For Fintech’, “a collaboration between Digital Jersey, Locate Jersey, Jersey Finance as well as industry members – which is about bringing together the Fintech community under one brand and banner, to help raise Jersey’s profile as a FinTech jurisdiction.” 

The event concluded with Minister for External Relations Senator Ian Gorst praising the relationship between the jurisdictions, and how it “will and can continue to stand the test of time no matter whatever crisis or international events throw at us.”

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