A month-long Seasonal Dates Market was inaugurated by HE the Minister of Economy and Commerce Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassem bin Mohamed al-Thani on Thursday.
It is organised by the Ministry of Economy and Commerce in co-operation with Souq Waqif.
The largest event of its kind brings together around 85 local and foreign companies specialised in the production, supply and distribution of dates from Kuwait, Oman, Iran, Tunisia and Algeria among other countries. The exhibition will run until March 15.
The opening ceremony was attended by Qatari Businessmen Association chairman HE Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim al-Thani, Qatar Chamber chairman Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim al-Thani, Hassad Food CEO Mohamed Badr al-Sada, and a number of ambassadors from participating countries.
In his opening remarks, HE the Minister of Economy and Commerce thanked the participants in the market, stressing that the event is in line with the Ministry’s efforts to support Qatar in its journey towards achieving self-sufficiency across all sectors, particularly in food.
HE Sheikh Ahmed al-Thani also highlighted the role that the market plays in promoting national date products and different kinds of date produce in addition to offering local and foreign companies the opportunity to directly sell their products to the public, which would reflect positively on their sales volume and support their efforts to expand production capacity.
“The Seasonal Dates Market presents an opportunity to promote trade and investment co-operation between local and foreign companies as well as to exchange expertise in date-related industries, thus enhancing the competitiveness of national products in local and global markets,” he said.
Hassad Food's executive vice-president Ali bin Hilal al-Kuwari said the company's presence in the Seasonal Dates Market stems from its keenness to be one of the main participants. He said Hassad owns the largest dates packaging factory in the region, which has a capacity to process as much as 3,000 tonnes of dates.
He said last year Hassad sent its first shipment of dates to India, drawing positive reactions from importers and consumers. New agreements are to be signed soon and they will be announced.
Hassad Food, as a government company, strives to support local farmers without any conflict or competition with the private sector.
The Seasonal Dates Market offers traders, entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises the opportunity to display and promote various date produce as well as dates-related food and industrial products.
Within this framework, the Ministry had invited foreign companies to participate in the event, and enter into agreements and partnerships that will bolster bilateral trade and provide access to new markets.
The Ministry also sought to empower local investors to market their products in foreign markets and gain insight into the expertise of participating countries in a bid to improve the quality of local date products and strengthen its position in the foreign markets.
The Seasonal Dates Market is open to visitors daily from 8am to 12 noon and from 3pm to 10pm.