Welsh companies set sights on Middle Eastern markets

Welsh companies set sights on Middle Eastern markets

Nine businesses from Wales are prioritising expansion to the Middle East and will be attending a high-profile trade delegation to Qatar and Kuwait. 

Businesses from a range of sectors including food and drink and advanced manufacturing are among those taking part in the export market visit this month.

These businesses have been selected to represent the diversity of the Welsh economy and demonstrate how Wales is leading the way for innovation, cutting edge technology and quality products.

Qatar is a relatively small country but one of the richest in the world. This affluent market has a growing population and, as hosts of the 2022 World Cup, businesses also hope to capitalise on the opportunities such an event could bring.

With significant oil and gas reserves, it also has one of the most ambitious infrastructure programmes in the world and plans to invest up to $220 billion in infrastructure over the next 7 years.

Kuwait is the fifth richest country in the world and one of the UK’s largest and most important trading partners.

Over 100 UK companies are already operating in Kuwait, including Shell, BP, PWC, Harvey Nichols, Boots, Amec, Atkins, and Waitrose.

For Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC), the region’s high consumption of red meat and reliance on imports to meet demand is an important draw.

Only earlier this year did Kuwait lift a ban on British lamb opening the market up for the first time to potential suppliers.

Kuwait imports 83.3% of the meat that is consumed by its population and Qatar imports 93.7%.

HCC marketing manager Rhys Llywelyn said: “The Middle East market has great potential for Welsh Lamb.

“For some years we’ve been working with processors and Welsh Government on promotions at regional trade fairs such as Gulfood, and this mission is a chance to take advantage of new opportunities to establish business links in several countries in the region.

“There is undoubtedly demand from the region’s retailers and high-end foodservice operators for premium products such as PGI Welsh Lamb.”

Cardiff-based BCB International manufactures and develops pioneering equipment that has helped generations of soldiers, seafarers and aid workers operate and survive in some of the world’s harshest environments.

Paul Ames, BCB International Ltd’s business development manager said: “In the light of these current uncertain times, homeland security will be of vital importance for both Qatar and Kuwait.

“In terms of security planning and equipment procurement, the 2022 World Cup is just around the corner.

“Our market research has shown that some of our solutions and innovations are a perfect match for the authorities’ equipment needs.

“This Trade Mission presents us with a great platform for making good in country contacts, learning more about the market culture and potential business opportunities.”

Another of the businesses, AmniTec, manufactures composite, fluoropolymer, and metallic industrial hose assemblies at its base in Merthyr Tydfil.

AmniTec supplies oil and gas, chemical processing, power generation, refrigeration, and other industrial markets.

Jeff Sims, business development manager for Amnitec said: “The Middle East is an interesting market for us. We don’t currently have a distribution network for our products there and there is the potential indirect route to the oil, gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG) end users that interests us.

“We are currently manufacturing LNG composites and very high temperature pressure hoses at our base in Wales. We want to promote awareness of our Wales-made products and are keen to find out if there are markets for these products in these countries.

“We also want to find business partnerships and distributors to stock our bulk hose & promote our high engineered bespoke hose products.”

The full list of participating companies includes: Amnitec, BCB International, Celtic English Academy, Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales, Rachel’s Dairy, Site Heat – Treatment Services, Teddington Engineered Solutions, The British Rototherm Company and Vessel.