The Alexandria, Virginia, USA-headquartered Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA) recently conducted a five-day program in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), to build and strengthen partnerships between delegates in the United States government, GCCA members, and cold chain representatives from the Arabian Gulf Region.
The GCCA delegation participated in the Middle East and Africa Business Outlook Conference in Dubai, hosted by the US Department of Commerce, and a Cold Chain Executive Connection session, sponsored by GCCA, which attracted more than 30 attendees.
The delegation also visited Khalid Al Shirawi, chief executive officer of Global Shipping & Logistics, LLC. Representatives from five GCCA member companies doing business in Africa and the United Arab Emirates were part of the delegation.
“Our trip to Dubai provided tremendous business development opportunities for all the parties involved, including GCCA members,” said Richard Tracy, the association’s vice president of international programs. “It’s exciting to watch as the UAE becomes the world’s next huge global logistics hub. We are honored to be playing a role in this pivotal moment in the transformation of the African and Gulf State markets.”
Al Shirawi added, “This was a much needed event for our region. The cold chain is a growing industry and having the ability to learn more and network with our peers from the region and around the world was invaluable.”
Logistics Panel Discussion
During the Middle East and Africa Business Outlook Conference, Tracy moderated the “Logistics of Getting Your Product to Africa” panel, which focused on providing assistance to US companies based in Dubai that export products to Africa. Panel members included Adil Al Zarooni, senior vice president at Economic Zones World; Jim Jefcoate, Africa director for International Procurement Limited; Paul Bayer, director for Middle East & Central Asia, UPS; and David Phillips, president of the National Association of Freight and Logistics.
The panelists discussed the movement of products to and from Africa, using the UAE as an export hub, and the regulatory, business, environmental, and other challenges that often arise. Potential synergies and business opportunities for the United States, UAE, and African private sector partners in specific industries, such as the cold chain, were also discussed.
Supply Chain Roundtable
Tracy and representatives from GCCA member companies participated in a roundtable discussion exploring the economic potential and opportunities for collaboration between public and private sectors across Sub-Saharan Africa. More than 1,400 US American operate in the UAE and use the region as a platform to reach into Sub-Saharan Africa. Cold chain and infrastructure development have been identified as specific areas for development.
With the rising middle class in Africa stimulating customer demand, opportunities are opening up for GCCA member companies offering cold chain services, such as warehousing and transportation. During the roundtable, the US Commerce Department’s senior commercial officers from across Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as US and UAE private sector stakeholders, discussed potential collaborations in cold chain and agribusiness supply chain development.
Cold Chain Executive Connection
Continuing the conversation of strengthening ties between the US government and US-UAE public and private sector stakeholders and further developing the regional cold chain, the GCCA hosted a Cold Chain Executive Connection event in Dubai. Thirty-two people from six countries participated, including representatives from five GCCA member companies.