The Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA) conducted a five-day program in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), recently to build and strengthen partnerships between delegates in the US government, GCCA members, and cold chain representatives from the Persian Gulf Region.
The GCCA Cold Chain Delegation visited Dubai and participated in the Middle East and Africa Business Outlook Conference, hosted by the US Department of Commerce; and a Cold Chain Executive Connection, hosted by GCCA and including more than 30 delegates.
Richard Tracy, GCCA vice-president of international programs, and 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 participated in the delegation.
“Our trip to Dubai provided tremendous business development opportunities for all the parties involved, including GCCA members,” said Tracy. “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 said, “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.”
During the Middle East and Africa Business Outlook Conference, Tracy moderated the “Logistics of Getting Your Product to Africa” panel, comprised of regional business experts and focused on providing assistance to US companies based in Dubai that export products to Africa. Panel members included Adil Al Zarooni, senior vice-president, Economic Zones World; Jim Jefcoate, director of Africa for International Procurement Limited; Paul Bayer, director for Middle East & Central Asia, UPS; and David Phillips, president, National Association of Freight and Logistics (NAFL).
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.
Tracy and representatives from GCCA member companies participated in a roundtable exploring the economic potential and opportunities for collaboration between public and private sectors across sub-Saharan Africa. More than 1,400 US companies operate in UAE and use the region as a platform to reach into sub-Saharan Africa. U.S. interest in the region has grown recently, with President Obama and Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker committed to an increased commercial relationship across the continent. Cold chain and infrastructure development have been identified as specific areas for development.
To continue the conversation on strengthening ties between the US government and US-UAE public and private sector stakeholders, GCCA hosted a Cold Chain Executive Connection in Dubai. The event put a spotlight on cold chain development. Thirty-two people from six nations participated in the event, including five GCCA member companies.
For more information, access www.gcca.org.