USDEC’s Networking Dinner: first in-person activity in Egypt amid the pandemic
U.S. Dairy Export Council
While the pandemic isn’t over yet, current measures in Egypt allowed USDEC to successfully conduct a networking dinner in the Nile Ballroom, Four Seasons Hotel at Nile Plaza in Cairo-Egypt on Tuesday, August 24, bringing together traders, processors, professors as well as officials. With the Covid-19 pandemic, USDEC physical marketing activities were absent from the market. Participants were thrilled to see each other after a long time, while some drove two hours and more to attend, coming from far away cities such as Alexandria. It was not only the first time USDEC MENA office staff had seen their regular Egyptian contacts in person in more than a year but the first time attendees had seen each other, so this created a festive atmosphere.
A total of 60 people attended the dinner from major Egyptian companies; importers and distributors, dairy, cheese and flavour manufacturers, confectionery plants and bakeries, universities, and officials. The U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt was represented by Kurt Seifarth, Agricultural Minister – Counsellor, Elizabeth Mello, Senior Agricultural Attaché and Ibrahim El Habbal, Marketing & Capacity Building. Nina Halal, Director USDEC Middle East led the introductory notes, welcoming the attendees and the representatives from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and emphasizing the significance of holding this dinner to strengthen the U.S. dairy’s presence in the Egyptian market and the MENA region in general. Halal highlighted that in case of any assistance or inquiries, USDEC is there to address and support in any way possible. Mr. Kurt Seifarth also had a small brief and explained about the Embassy’s role and mission in Egypt, and that they are ready for any aid in import or market access issues.
As a result of this get together, plans for site visits will be re-initiated. It is important to continue holding such trade and networking dinners to maintain and develop trade relations, and showcase the U.S. dairy’s commitment to the Middle East marketplace. USDEC efforts in the MENA region will continue to focus on building demand, expanding market presence and penetration, and raising market share for U.S. dairy ingredients, particularly whey and milk powders by delivering compelling, actionable information and solutions that encourage targeted end-users to incorporate such ingredients into their local product portfolio.