Increased presence in Egypt as a gateway to Africa and the Middle East
First portfolio extension to include the food industry
International engagement strengthens Düsseldorf’s No. 1 trade fairs
Messe Düsseldorf consolidates its presence in Egypt as a gateway to the African market and the Middle East by launching a new trade show: FoodAfrica Cairo. The company has been represented here with the concurrently held pacprocess Middle East Africa since 2019, a regional sister event of the world’s biggest packaging trade fair interpack in Düsseldorf. With FoodAfrica Messe Düsseldorf extends its portfolio along the value chain – from the packaging up to the food industry. In future, the trade fair company will strengthen its world leading Düsseldorf trade fairs by intensifying its international activities and extending its portfolios.
Messe Düsseldorf continues driving its international expansion through satellite events built around its 20 Düsseldorf No. 1 trade fairs. Commenting on this Wolfram N. Diener, President & CEO of Messe Düsseldorf, says: “We offer industries two key benefits: central meeting points in Düsseldorf that map the respective global market as well as local platforms for various regions of the world and markets. In this way we remain a relevant partner for our customers while safeguarding the leading position of Düsseldorf’s No.1 trade fairs at the same time.”
The expansion of Messe Düsseldorf here focuses especially on such dynamic growth markets as Africa, Latin America and Asia. “All of these markets have a high demand for investment in industry and infrastructure. Our events abroad create marketplaces for local industries, promote the development of national economies and open up new, emerging markets for multi-national companies,” stresses Diener.
The youngest member of Messe Düsseldorf’s trade fair portfolio is FoodAfrica Cairo, the most important platform for the food industry in Africa. It is closely dovetailed with the packaging trade fair pacprocess Middle East Africa, which is also held in parallel in Cairo, and has formed part of the interpack alliance since 2019. Apart from interpack, the world’s leading trade fair for the packaging sector and related process industries in Düsseldorf, the interpack alliance encompasses six trade fairs abroad. For pacprocess MEA Messe Düsseldorf cooperates with the companies IFP Egypt and Konzept, with whom it signed a contract on an extensive participation in FoodAfrica Cairo in December.
Commitment to an attractive market
Bernd Jablonowski, Executive Director Trade Fairs and in charge amongst other things of the interpack alliance, regards this as an important step: “We consolidate our position on a highly attractive market. Egypt stands out with sustained high growth rates and serves as a gateway to Africa and the Middle East.” The International Monetary Fund expects the Egyptian economy to already return to its high GNP growth rates of over 5% annually – its status before the start of the pandemic – this year; and growth rates are expected to increase on a continuous basis. Even during the pandemic growth rates were on a high level at 3.6% (2020) and 3.3% (2021). Furthermore, 1 January 2022 saw the AfCFTA (African Continental Free Trade Area) enter into force, which was signed by 53 other African states in addition to Egypt.
Logical extension of the portfolio
“In view of this enormous potential our customers already backed us up in the establishment of pacprocess MEA 2019,” explains Bernd Jablonowski. An advisory board composed of representatives of Egyptian government organisations and multi-national companies from the food, pharmaceutical and confectionery industries such as Coca Cola, Pfizer and Mondelez, supports the event. “This is a ‘first’ for a trade fair outside the Düsseldorf homebase,” says Jablonowski and adds: “With our participation in FoodAfrica Cairo we are now expanding along the value chain – from the packaging to the food industry.”
The international food industry is the biggest consumer of packaging and the number of pre-packed foods has grown noticeably on a global scale for years now. A phenomenon which is particularly prevalent on growth markets. Jablonowski: “We are close to our customers and constantly developing our portfolio in line with their needs.”
Next step: SAVE FOOD
In future, Messe Düsseldorf will take its SAVE FOOD Initiative to Egypt jointly with the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations). With this move both partners make a statement against global food losses and waste at the interpack alliance trade fairs, and show how packaging, refrigeration and logistics can help combat these issues. More than 1,000 enterprises have promoted the Initiative so far, which organises studies and projects on this theme in developing and threshold countries.
Trade fairs as economic engines
The Egyptian government also appreciates the value Düsseldorf Messe’s commitment has in its country. President Abd al-Fattah as-Sisi acts as patron for pacprocess MEA and Nevine Gamea, Egypt’s Minister for Trade and Industry, discussed potential, more intense cooperation between Messe Düsseldorf and the Egyptian government at a meeting with Wolfram N. Diener and Bernd Jablonowski in December. The aim is to promote the trade fair business in the country and create further platforms also for other sectors of industry. To this end, a cooperation agreement is to be signed between Messe Düsseldorf and the Egypt Expo and Convention Authority (EECA).
Wolfram N. Diener stresses the benefits of this engagement for all parties involved: “Our foreign trade fairs make the target regions more known as business locations, they unlock new markets for international companies and win over new exhibitors and visitors for the leading international trade fairs at the homebase Düsseldorf.” At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic this led to continuously increasing numbers of participants at the Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre – with a particular increase in international attendance. While the number of exhibitors at Düsseldorf trade fairs in 2019 was up by 2.9% in total over the respective previous events, the percentage of foreign exhibitors rose by 5.9%. Altogether, the foreign percentage stood at 73%. This benefits economy as a whole – not only food service and hotels but also retail, skilled crafts, trade fair construction and transport.
FoodAfrica Cairo and pacprocess Middle East Africa (Credit: Messe Düsseldorf)