WASHINGTON – On Oct. 25, The US Department of Agriculture announced that in-person trade missions would start up again in 2022 beginning with Dubai, United Arab Emirates Feb. 16-21.

The agency said this was the first USDA-sponsored mission since Nov. 2019 due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. 

“As international travel and activities resume, we are excited to bring back in-person trade missions and to bring them back better than before,” said Daniel Whitley, the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) administrator for the USDA. “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 US farmers, ranchers, and exporters, so they have access to more markets and more consumers, which will lead to greater profitability.”  

USDA said that the mission to Dubai will look at providing more opportunities to grow US agricultural sales in the UAE. In the last five years US agriculture and food exports to the country averaged $1.2 billion annually. 

According to the agency, The UAE is a consumer market with potential for US exports of dairy products, fresh fruit and vegetables, tree nuts, beef and beef products, chocolate and cocoa products, snack foods, confectionary and baked goods, cereals, pasta, and food preparations. There is also increasing demand for agricultural commodities, including US corn and soybean meal.  

The delegation will hold 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.

The deadline to apply for the UAE trade mission is Nov. 8.