The USDA announced on Oct. 25 it is resuming in-person trade missions, starting with a trip to Dubai, UAE, Feb. 16-21, 2022.
This is the first outbound trade mission since the onset of COVID-19 travel restrictions. The last trade mission sponsored by the USDA was in November 2019.
A press release from the USDA said, “Dubai will offer U.S. exporters the perfect opportunity to return to overseas trade events, visit and engage directly with foreign buyers, and boost their export sales to the UAE and the surrounding region.”
Foreign Ag Service (FAS) Administrator Daniel Whitley commented, “As international travel and activities resume, we are excited to bring back in-person trade missions and to bring them back better than before. While the COVID-19 pandemic revealed some vulnerabilities in our food system, it also proved just how critical trade is to the global supply chain and to the future of American agriculture. As a result, we are focused on delivering more export opportunities to U.S. farmers, ranchers, and exporters, so they have access to more markets and more consumers, which will lead to greater profitability.”
The USDA-authored press release went on to say, “The USDA-sponsored trade mission to Dubai will focus on just that – providing more export opportunities while continuing to grow U.S. agricultural sales to the UAE, where U.S. agriculture and food exports averaged $1.2 billion annually for the last 5 years. The UAE boasts a growing consumer market and offers strong potential for U.S. exporters of dairy products, fresh fruit and vegetables, tree nuts, beef and beef products, chocolate and cocoa products, snack foods, confectionery and baked goods, cereals, pasta, and food preparations. There is also increasing demand for agricultural commodities, including U.S. corn and soybean meal.”
It concluded, “Trade mission delegates will conduct business-to-business meetings with potential customers, receive in-depth market briefings from FAS and industry trade experts, and participate in site visits, including the annual Gulfood Show, and the Dubai Expo 2020.