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 ANNUAL figures, released yesterday, show that Scottish salmon has seen a tremendous 41.5 per cent rise in the value of exports to the Middle East in the last year – increasing from £7.8 million to over £11.04 million.

The statistics were released during Gulfood, in Dubai, one of the world's largest food and hospitality shows.

The show was attended by Scotland's Food and Drink Secretary Richard Lochhead, who toured the Scottish Pavilion, hosted by Scottish Development International (SDI), and met with exhibitors before attending the Emirates Salon Culinaire competition, where Label Rouge Scottish Salmon was the showpiece seafood product.

While at the event the Minister both welcomed the salmon export figures and highlighted the Q3 food and drink (whisky) export figures from Scotland to the UAE, which have seen a rise of 34 per cent compared to the first three quarters of 2010. This compares to an increase of 21 per cent in global food and drink exports from Scotland.

The latest statistics further underline the region's importance as an emerging market for Scottish exports and continue to show increased growth after UAE emerged in 2010 as the second fastest growing market for Scottish food.  They also show that Scotland Food and Drink and SDI's partnership overseas to deliver the industry strategy continues to make good progress.

Mr Lochhead said: "It has been fantastic to come here to Dubai and see so much of Scotland's fine produce on display at this huge international event.  The opportunities for Scotland and our food and drink companies who are attending are vast and everyone here representing Scotland will be doing our best to make sure we capitalise on each and every one.

"The Middle East is a key target market for the Scottish food and drink industry, with demand increasing significantly from this region. The rocketing figures out today for the Middle East show the region is a key target market with huge potential value to the Scottish food and beverage industry which we are only just beginning to tap in to.  With demand increasing significantly for Scottish goods and produce across this region, we are also starting to see significant interest from regional investors into the rapidly expanding sector.

"Salmon in particular is continuing to perform spectacularly well, cementing its position as Scotland's largest food export. And I am delighted that Label Rouge Scottish Salmon will be the showpiece seafood product at Emirates Salon Culinaire, further underlining that top chefs and professionals view Scottish food and drink as some of the most delicious and premium produce in the world."

Oil Price

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