With a population larger than the other five GCC countries combined, Saudi Arabia accounted for more than 50% of the region’s food imports prior to the pandemic, and 80% of food consumed in the Kingdom came from abroad.
Sharjah has one of the most diversified economies in the UAE, with a strong foundation in industry and manufacturing. Approximately 95.8% of its economic activity was derived from non-oil sectors in 2019, positioning the emirate to absorb much of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Despite an increase in crop production and international trade following a pandemic-disrupted 2020, global food prices have risen to 10-year highs, increasing pressure on many emerging markets.
As governments across West Africa prioritise their textile industries to drive post-pandemic recovery, a number of private sector initiatives are supporting the segment’s growth.
The trade dispute between Qatar and some of its neighbours in 2017-20 served to strengthen the country's food security, spurring it to ramp up domestic production capacity and diversify global trade partners.
The African continent accounts for around 6% of global sugar output, half of which is concentrated in COMESA countries – a figure that is set to expand to 8% by 2029. While local production takes place on a relatively small scale, countries in the region are among the world's largest net exporters.