Equipment firm bemoans lack of investment

British machinery outfit Jacob White is struggling to secure investment from buyers in the Middle East, according to the company’s managing director. 

Dartford-based Jacob White makes food packaging machinery and was exhibiting its latest semi-automated piece of equipment at the trade show Gulfood Manufacturing 2017. This event claims to the biggest trade show of its kind in the Middle East, but the UK machinery firm said it had struggled to secure investment from the Arab world so far this year. 

“The Middle East has been very good to us and I wouldn’t complain at all, except for this year – this year has been terrible for us,” said Paul Colwell, Jacob White’s managing director.

[It has got] nothing to do with Brexit, but there just doesn’t seem to be any money around that we’ve found from the people we’ve been speaking to recently.

“I don’t know if Dubai in particular has invested all of their money into infrastructure, but for us this year, it has not been good and investment seems difficult at the moment.”

Colwell said volatility in the oil market could have been one reason that may have dampened investment recently.

The business, based in Kent, makes custom-built machines that can build, fill and seal food packaging cartons in semi or full automation. The business claimed these machines have been installed in over 6,000 factories across 62 countries.

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