28 February 2006

Armenia participates in the 11th Gulfood Exhibition in Dubai

AZAD-HYE, Dubai, 1 March 2006: For the third time Armenia participated in the Gulf Food, Hotel & Equipment Exhibition (Gulfood) at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, from 19-22 February 2006.

Since 1987, Gulfood has been considered as the Middle East's and Africa's primary business platform for food, drink, foodservice and hospitality equipment. With over 1.800 participants from more than 60 countries, this year's exhibition witnessed a 15% increase in space. The region's food and beverage industry is one of the fastest growing worldwide, particularly since over 90% of the Gulf's food is imported.

The Armenian stand, which occupied more than 100 square meters, was represented by 9 companies, covering various food producing domains. On display were fresh, frozen and dry-packaged fish products, new sugar free jams, tomato paste, natural fruit powder, bottled water, coffee and tea, as well as natural juices and preserves.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through its Armenia SME Market Development Project (DAI-ASME), co-sponsored the Armenian national pavilion.

Mkrtich Ayvazyan, Business Advisor at DAI-ASME said: "Some of the participants have already been in the local market for considerable time and they are using the exhibition to enhance their presence and establish relations with new customers". One of the major concerns of the participants is to find a way for a united Armenian representation. "The concept of the so-called Armenian Trade House, a sort of joint company that will care for creating new distribution channels for the Armenian products in the local and regional markets, is gaining ground, although there is a lack of understanding of its role", he added.

The incentives to take part in the exhibition this year were higher than the previous years. DAI-ASME covered 100% of the space expense for each exhibitor. Thus the average cost for each exhibitor was limited to the air tickets, accommodation and other expenses (estimated by one exhibitor to be in the range of US$ 2.500- 3.000 per person).

Participating companies:

1) Akvatekh CJSC
1 Kajaznouni Street, Yerevan, Armenia
Tel: 00374 10 572256
Fax: 00374 10 554384
E-mail: akvatekh@netsys.am

Akvatekh breeds and farms trout and sturgeon. It produces ecologically pure fish. Water saturated with oxygen and constant temperature of 13-14 degrees and good balanced European feeds stimulate the breeding of fishes of good quality. It produces chilled, frozen, smoked, pickled fish products and high quality caviar.

Arkadi Gevorkyan, the General Director of "Akvatekh" said that he continued this year to receive serious queries from hotels, supermarket chains, airline catering companies, asking for trout and sturgeon fish products. The company operates several branches in Gumri, Masis and Etchmiadzin.

2) Arega
V. Jrvezh, Kotayk Region 375089, Armenia
Tel: 00374 10 646236
Fax: 00374 10 646235
E-mail: arega@arminco.com
Website: http://www.arega.am

Arega is specialized in the production of various vegetables and fruit based canned products.

Hakob V. Badalyan, the Director and Founder of the company participates in Dubai for the third time. "It is basically a place where you can meet people from the Gulf area, Europe and Asia. Dubai's market is based on the resale business, this is why companies press to buy the goods with the lowest possible rates. Then they can easily add their mark-up before reselling the product. It is important to have an Armenian company here, based, let us say, in the Free Zone area. This will help distributing the products. Distribution needs high management skills and the ability to communicate with the public", adds Badalyan.

3) Armen Hamik Eghbairner JV Co Ltd
Geghashen Village, Kotayk Region, 378512, Armenia
Tel: 00374 222 22231
Fax: 00374 222 30015
E-mail: original@web.am
Website: http://www.originalcoffee.am

Founded in 1995, this company is one of the leading coffee processing companies in Armenia and CIS countries. It imports green coffee beans from Brazil, Ethiopia, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, etc. and offers a wide range of products, including cocoa powder, natural ground coffee, instant coffee, ice fruit tea. It has started also processing canned meat.

Arthur Anderasyan, President of the company said: "What sets us aside from other coffee producers is the taste of our product and the degree of its solubility. Companies from Iran to Pakistan have asked to represent our products in their countries. They like the quality of our coffee and they even find it competitive to internationally famed brands. After this exhibition we expect to receive several delivery orders immediately in the coming few weeks. Previously established contacts are also helping in widening the network of buyers".

Referring to the problems that his business is facing, Anderasyan said that it is very important to form a kind of a semi-governmental union or company, which would deal with distribution issues and prepare the ground for a more effective participation in exhibitions, including providing pre-event marketing and other services, like translations, etc. "Reselling products through Dubai to many other parts of the world is what companies aim at through their presence in this Exhibition. We are not prepared to this type of business. This is why the wholesalers try to force their rules on small or medium sized exporters like us. We need to combine our efforts in order to have a say in the wholesaling process", he concluded.

4) Ashtarak Kat CISC
Dro Street, Yerevan 375016, Armenia
Agarak Village, Aragatsotn Region
Tel: 00374 10 245430
Fax: 00374 10 245430
E-mail: info@ashtarakkat.com

Established in 1995, is one of the leading producers of high quality dairy and ice cream products in Armenia. The company has constructed milk stations in five regions in Armenia, all above 2000 meters from the sea level. It produces milk, yoghurt, sour-cream, curds, cheese, milk powder, ice creams and drinking yoghurts of different flavors. It also produces 23 types of jams, made from fresh fruits and berries, warmed by 270 days of sunshine in the year.

5) Raffael Contini Trading Company
5/3 Miasnikyan Street, Yerevan, Armenia
Tel: 00374 10 442810
Fax: 00374 10 431541
E-mail: rafaello2@hotmail.com

Established in 1998 is involved in the production of ground coffee. Since 2002 it has started to produce the "Rio Grande" ground coffee brand, which is mainly been exported to neighboring Georgia.

6) Sis Natural Cannery LLC
2 Mamikonyants Street
Yerevan 375014, Armenia
Tel: 00374 10 233336
Fax: 00374 10 233533
E-mail: armsis@arminco.com

Established in 2002 this company is involved in the production of more than 20 types of natural fruit juices.

7) Waterlok LLC
27 Fuchik Street, Yerevan 375108, Armenia
Tel: 00374 10 395884
Fax: 00374 10 395886
E-mail: info@waterlokllc.com
Website: http://www.waterlokllc.com

The well of the water "Aparan" is located on a high mountainous region of Armenia, at the height of 2000 metres, at the feet of two mountains: Aragadz and Ara, in an ecologically unique area, free of industrial and agricultural activities.

8) Hagenas LLC
23 Ogostos Street, Artashat Region, 372240 Armenia
Tel: 00374 91 368070
Fax: 00374 10 466466
E-mail: hagenas@arminco.com

Established in 1999, Hagenas produces natural oils, extracts and dietary supplements. It produces also various seeds (grape, pumpkin, apricot, rose-hip, peach).

Khachik Gevorkyan, General Director of the company says: "Our products are unique, for example the AprioTabs that we are promoting now are produced from freeze-dried Armenian apricot powder. It is recommended for health maintenance, in particular for replenishment of potassium, copper and natural antioxidants in food. Each tablet is equivalent of ten apricot fruits".

9) Noyan Natural Juices and Preserves
Address in the UAE:
Golden Spring LLC
P. O. Box 84762, Dubai, UAE
Tel: 009714 2674338
Fax: 009714 2674339
E-mail: gspring@emirates.net.ae

Golden Spring LLC is the exclusive distributor of Noyan natural juices, nectars, drinks, fruit and berry preserves and canned vegetables in the Middle East.

Press release of the organizing body:
DAI-ASME issued a press release few days before the Exhibition stating that "The economic development of Armenia requires increased production of
ecologically sound food products for domestic and international markets. The effective presentation and promotion of these products abroad is also necessary to develop new market opportunities and establish a foothold for Made in Armenia products worldwide".

The press release underlined the importance of the Middle East market to the Armenian producers. According to it 72% of imports to Dubai are re-exported to other countries providing access to 2 billion international consumers, 40 new 5-star hotels and 5 large shopping malls will open in Dubai in the coming two years, exports from Armenia to UAE in the last two years totaled $15 million.

It should be mentioned that in the previous exhibition DAI-ASME had allocated considerable space to the Armenian Tourism Development Agency, through which many tourism related material and brochures were distributed to the public. This year tourism was not highlighted in the official participation. We hope that this absence would be compensated during the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai from 2-5 May 2006.

The Armenians of the UAE did not have the chance to visit the Armenian pavilion. The event was not announced in the local Armenian news bulletin and no press release from the organizing part targeted that population.

We would like to thank Samvel Shahbazyan and Lilit Hakobyan of DAI-ASME for providing us with additional information and photos.


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