The Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA) 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 Persian Gulf Region.
The GCCA Cold Chain Delegation visited Dubai, held May 27-June 1, 2015, during which they participated in the Middle East and Africa Business Outlook Conference, hosted by the U.S. Department of Commerce, and a Cold Chain Executive Connection, hosted by GCCA, which included more than 30 delegates.
GCCA Vice President of International Programs Richard Tracy and the delegation also visited Khalid Al Shirawi, Chief Executive Officer with 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,” Tracy said. “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.”
Tracy Moderates Logistics Panel
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 U.S. 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).
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 exploring the economic potential and opportunities for collaboration between public and private sectors across Sub-Saharan Africa. More than 1,400 U.S. 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.
With the rising middle class in Africa growing customer demand, opportunities are opening up for GCCA member companies offering cold chain services, such as warehousing and transportation. During the roundtable, the U.S. Commerce Department’s Senior Commercial Officers from across Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as U.S. and UAE private sector stakeholders, discussed potential collaborations in cold chain and agribusiness supply chain development.
GCCA Cold Chain Executive Connection
To continue the conversation on strengthening ties between the U.S. government and U.S.-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 countries participated in the event, including five GCCA member companies.
About the Global Cold Chain Alliance
Comprised of its Core Partners, including the International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses, the World Food Logistics Organization, the International Refrigerated Transportation Association, and the International Association for Cold Storage Construction, the Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA) represents all major industries engaged in temperature-controlled logistics. GCCA unites partners to be innovative leaders in the temperature-controlled products industry.