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Competitiveness of Malaysian fresh agricultural and agro-based products in global markets: A case study in the United Arab Emirates
(Daya saing produk segar dan produk berasaskan pertanian Malaysia di pasaran global: Kajian kes di Amiriah Arab Bersatu)
Roslina Ali* and Rozhan Abu Dardak*
Keywords: agricultural fresh and processed products, UAE, export markets, competitiveness

Abstract
This study was conducted to evaluate the competitiveness of Malaysian fresh and agro-based products marketed in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Both primary and secondary data were utilised and mainly obtained from in-depth interviews with selected major industry players through purposive sampling approach involving importers, supermarkets’ procurement manager, trade commissioner and agriculture counselor in Dubai. Some information were gathered from in- store observations to assess the current status of Malaysian agricultural products at different marketing channels in Dubai including hypermarkets, supermarkets, convenience stores and traditional grocery stores. Results of the study revealed that tomatoes, jackfruits, rambutans, starfruits and sugarcanes are competitive.Instant drink coffee, instant noodles, biscuits and frozen paratha (roti canai), tomato and chilli sauces manufactured by Malaysian multinational companies are competitive in Dubai market. Local consumers perceived that Malaysian fresh agricultural products are good quality, thus, repositioning Malaysian products as premiums would be a pertinent strategy for Malaysia to penetrate local and expatriate market segments that are of higher purchasing power, rather than going to mass markets. This strategy would remedy the issue of inconsistent and insufficient supply of the Malaysian fresh agricultural produce in the UAE.

 

Abstrak
Kajian ini dijalankan bagi menilai daya saing produk Malaysia di pasaran global dan fokus kajian ialah produk pertanian segar dan industri asas tani (yang dipasarkan di Amiriah Arab Bersatu (UAE). Kajian ini menggunakan data primer dan data sekunder dan kebanyakannya diperoleh menerusi temu bual terperinci secara persampelan tertuju yang melibatkan wakil industri terpilih yang terdiri daripada pengimport, pengurus pembelian, pegawai perdagangan dan kaunselor pertanian di Dubai. Sebahagian maklumat dikumpul melalui pemerhatian di dalam premis jualan bagi mengenal pasti status produk Malaysia di pelbagai peringkat saluran pemasaran di Dubai termasuk pasar raya, pasar mini dan kedai runcit. Dapatan kajian menunjukkan tomato, nangka, rambutan, belimbing dan tebu adalah berdaya saing. Minuman kopi segera, mi segera, biskut, roti canai sejuk beku, sos cili dan sos tomato yang dikeluarkan oleh syarikat multinasional Malaysia juga berdaya saing di pasaran Dubai. Pengguna tempatan beranggapan bahawa produk segar dari Malaysia adalah berkualiti. Oleh itu, peletakan semula (repositioning) produk segar Malaysia sebagai premium merupakan strategi utama bagi Malaysia untuk menyasarkan segmen pasaran tempatan dan asing yang mempunyai kuasa pembelian lebih tinggi berbanding dengan pasaran terbuka. Strategi ini juga dapat membantu menangani isu bekalan yang tidak konsisten dan tidak mencukupi bagi produk segar Malaysia di UAE.

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Economic and Technology Management Research Centre,
MARDI Headquarters, Persiaran MARDI- UPM, 43300 SERI KEMBANGAN,
SELANGOR, MALAYSIA
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