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Ninth Arab Beverages Conference


2019-11-11

The ninth edition of the Arab Beverages Conference (ABCE 2019) was held recently under the theme ‘Challenging the Future!’ as senior industry experts from around the region met to explore ways to move the sector forward in the years ahead. The Arab non-alcoholic beverage industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the Middle East region and has witnessed rapid development in the past three decades to become extremely competitive with its counterpart industries in different parts of the world. The two-day event, taking place at The Grand Millennium Hotel, Barsha Heights, served as the perfect platform for guest speakers to discuss relevant topics, and attendees to explore avenues for cooperation that will enhance the sector.
According to a recent study conducted by Tetra Pak, the GCC consumed 3,733 million litres of dairy, 2,646 million litres of juice, nectars and still drinks, 37,094 million litres of coffee and tea, 13,551 million litres of water and 4,330 million litres of carbonated soft drinks in 2018 for a total of 73,156 million litres. The Levant region excluding Iraq consumed 595 million litres of dairy during the same period, as well as 393 million litres of juice, nectars and still drinks, 1,928 litres of coffee and tea, 1,633 million litres of water and 841 million litres of carbonated soft drinks for a total of 5,461. 
Meanwhile, North Africa consumed 7,027 million litres of dairy, 2,641 million litres of juice, nectars and still drinks, 28,257 million litres of coffee and tea, 608 million litres of water and 508 million litres of carbonated soft drinks in 2018 for a total of 27,857 million litres. When combined, the three areas consumed a total of 11,355 million litres of dairy, 5,680 million litres of juice, nectars and still drinks, 37,094 million litres of coffee and tea, 13,551 million litres of water and 4,330 million litres of carbonated soft drinks in 2018 for a total of 73,156 million litres.
Monther Al Harthi, Chairman, Arab Beverages Association (ABA), said before the event: “ABCE will once again serve as an innovative platform for research and development as we aim to elevate the sector to newfound heights in the months and years ahead. A two per cent growth was recorded for 2018/19 and we expect this figure to continue to increase every year as more and more business and investment opportunities present themselves throughout the Arab region. We look forward to the outcomes of the many fruitful discussions that will take place over the next two days that will ultimately reflect the tremendous growth opportunities throughout the Arab Beverages industry.”
A cooperation agreement between Arab Beverages Association (ABA) and Sure-Global-Fair (SFG),represented by Al Harthi and Alexandra Heinermann respectively, was signed to finalize the proposed long-term partnership in the area of safety and quality assurance, as well as in protection of the positive image of fruit juices and related products. The cooperation supports the fair competition regarding fruit juices, nectars, fruit containing drinks and related raw materials such as fruit juice concentrates, purées, purées concentrates and other fruit juice products intended for use in the domestic markets of Arab countries. 
The event featured 21 speakers and professionals from various companies from around the Middle East and Africa, including Monther Al Harthi, Chairman, Arab Beverages Association (ABA); Dr. Omar Obeid, Associate Professor, American University of Beirut (AUB); Mohamad Bilal Akram, Senior Director — Indirect Tax Implementation, Ernst & Young; Niels Osterberg, Managing Director, Orana; Antoine Haddad, Founder & Vice Chairman, Arab Beverages Association (ABA) and Dr. Suzan Bagheel, Scientific & Regulatory Affairs Manager, PepsiCo.