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Paris Baguette to expand into Middle East, Africa

South Korean bakery giant SPC Group's flagship bakery chain Paris Baguette will make its first inroad into the Middle Eastern and African market as a part of its efforts to tap into the global halal food market worth some $2 trillion in value, said SPC Group, Monday.

SPC Group said it signed a memorandum of understanding with a United Arab Emirates-based conglomerate Galadari Brothers Group on Sunday to establish a joint venture by 2024. Galadari Brothers Group currently operates businesses in diverse sectors internationally, including media, automobile, travel and food and beverage business.

"The halal market is a market of great strategic importance to Paris Baguette's global business, and we will accelerate expansion of our business overseas by closely cooperating and initiating bold investments with Galadari Brothers Group,” said SPC Group President Hur Jin-soo.

Under the deal, which was inked during SPC’s participation in the delegation accompanying President Yoon Suk Yeol’s state visit to the Middle East, Paris Baguette will foray into 12 countries in the Middle Eastern and African market. The countries under consideration so far include Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain.

"We are happy to be working jointly with Paris Baguette, which is already successfully operated in the United States, Europe and Southeast Asia. We expect Galadari Brothers Groups’ operational capabilities, market influence and Paris Baguette's excellent products and global brand power to create synergy,” said Mohammed Galadari, CEO of Galadari Brothers Group, during the signing ceremony for the memorandum.

SPC Group will supply products to the Paris Baguette outlets in the new markets by producing necessary goods from its Malaysia Johor Bahru Plant, SPC Group's halal-certified production base scheduled for completion next year.

In June last year, SPC set up a joint venture with Malaysian food company Berjaya Food, in a bid to use Malaysia as a strategic production and logistics base for the Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern market. Once the construction of the factory is complete, the 12,900-square-meter facility will allow for efficient transport of SPC’s goods, according to the company.

Starting with China in 2004, Paris Baguette has steadily expanded its business by entering the global market and has established its presence in 10 countries including the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Canada, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Paris Baguette, which recently opened its 500th global outlet on Sunday in Singapore, saw its global sales exceed 600 billion won ($443 million) last year, seeing some 39 percent on-year increase compared to 430 billion won in annual sales posted in 2021, according to SPC Group.

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