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Tue 19 Aug 2008 07:40 AM

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UAE eyes $500mn Pakistan food deal

As GCC spends in excess of $12bn on food imports each year, countries look for more options.

UAE government chiefs are seriously considering buying a 100,000-acre plot of land in Pakistain in a deal worth $500 million in a bid to secure future food supplies, it has been revealed.

With spendings of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on food exceeding $12 billion every year, member states are increasingly looking abroad for agricultural investments, according to an Arab expert on modern agricultural technology.

Speaking in Abu Dhabi on Monday, Dr Mohamed Adel El Ghandour said that the UAE ranked second only to Saudi Arabia, in terms of the cost of food imports, reported news agency WAM.

He revealed that the UAE is seriously considering the possibility of buying more than 100,000 acres in Pakistan, in a deal reaching $500 million.

The UAE also has a project of developing 70,000 acres in Sudan, as part of implementing and developing agricultural projects, using modern technology.

The expert said that Sudan, with its water abundance and its huge fertile land, as well as its geographical proximity to the GCC countries, provided a good investment opportunity with a view to securing the Arab countries' needs of foodstuffs, especially in meat, milk, and fishery products.

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