DUBAI: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced the establishment of Agro bazaar in Dubai by the Federal Agriculture Marketing Authority (FAMA).
â€œWe need to be closer to the market place to enjoy higher percentage of income. The nearer we are, the more benefit we get,â€ he said at the launch of the Malaysian Agrofood Festival and a gathering of 300 Malaysians.
Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said getting closer to the global supply chain was part of the governmentâ€™s deliberate strategy.
â€œIn moving up the value chain in agriculture sector, FAMA is expected to open more Agro bazaars abroad, including in Hong Kong,â€ Najib said.
Aimed at promoting premium Malaysian fruits and agro-based products, the first Agrobazaar was opened in Singapore in August, he said.
Najib said, the premium â€˜Musang Kingâ€™ durian is really treated like a â€˜kingâ€™ in Singapore.
â€œThe durian is stored fully in an air-conditioned room. It is sold at S$26 per kg. And after conversion (into Malaysian Ringgit), you canâ€™t get the same price anywhere in Malaysia,â€ he said.
During the first seven months of 2014, exports of fruits increased 44.7 per cent to RM298.8 million.
Present at the event which was held at the Arena, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, was his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, and Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
Earlier, Ismail said Dubaiâ€™s Agro bazaar, a one-stop centre for Malaysian fruits and agro-based products, would open for business in the third quarter of next year.
Dubai Agro bazaar would also be a trading and distribution hub, as well as, a gateway for Malaysian fruits and agro-based products to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, he said.
Some 6,000 Malaysians live and work in the UAE, the highest in the country followed by Saudi Arabia.
They are mostly involved in the aviation, oil and gas, as well as, Islamic banking.
Najib is in Dubai to attend the three-day 10th World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) which began on Oct 28 at the Madinat Jumeirah.
The WIEF is organised by the WIEF Foundation in collaboration with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He is scheduled to return home on Thursday.
This is Najibâ€™s second visit to the UAE after visiting the capital city of Abu Dhabi in May. – BERNAMA