Ludvic Prévost, director of Business France’s office in Egypt (R) and Baptiste Dimas, agri-food department manager at the Business Finance office in Egypt (L) – Egypt Today/ Lolwa Reda
CAIRO – 21 April 2018: During a press conference held Thursday at Business France – the office responsible for connecting Egyptian and French businesses and companies, among other economic work – Ludvic Prévost, director of Business France’s office in Egypt, invited Egyptian food and beverage businesses and companies to attend the 2018 Salon International de l’Alimentation/International Food Exhibition (SIAL), which will take place from October 21 to 25, 2018 at Paris Nord Villepinte.
SIAL Paris 2018: snapshot months before its opening
SIAL Paris is a unique global event involving food companies from all over the world, seconded by Anuga Food Tech, according to special statements by Prévost to Egypt Today. Almost 90 percent of the exhibition floor space has already been reserved, and more than 80 countries have already confirmed their attendance; some 20 foreign ministers are set to attend, as well as about 80 ambassadors, according to Prévost’s statements.
The SIAL exhibition lasts for five days, during which exhibitors have the opportunity to present their products to 160,000 professional visitors from all around the world, according to Prévost. In 2016, the last year the exhibition was held, as it is held every two years, there were 154,000 visitors, but that number is expected to rise this year.
Depending on their preferences, their expectations and their needs, these visitors will be able to explore the exhibition by reference to sector or to the world's regions.
During the last edition, more than 700 Egyptian visitors attended SIAL Paris, of which 90 percent were decision makers; however, according to Prévost, this is only one percent of those who attended. “We [Business France] believe that this number can increase this year. Last year, only one percent of those who attended were Egyptians, but I think that this year there will be more Egyptians there,” said Prévost.
When asked about what Egyptians mostly focus on in the exhibition, Prévost and Baptiste Dimas, agri-food department manager at the Business Finance office in Egypt, told Egypt Today that the focus is mostly on fruits and vegetables. During the press conference, Dimas revealed that 109 Egyptian companies were involved in SIAL 2016, with EL-Doha, El-Sakr and Domty among the biggest.
Trade relations between France and Egypt are close, and commercial exchanges between France and Egypt reached €2.5 billion ($3.1 billion) in fiscal year 2016/2017, according to official statements released by the Egyptian authorities. From the €2.5 billion, €1.9 billion was exports from France to Egypt and the remaining €0.6 billion was exports from Egypt to France. France is Egypt’s sixth largest supplier of goods and seventh largest export client, and the European Union is Egypt’s closest trade partner, according to Prévost, who also revealed that “We [Business France] have real interest from French companies in the country.” They are looking for partnerships and looking to expand in Egypt, especially that “Egypt is France’s primary trade partner in the Middle East and North Africa,” he said.
Building on this, Prévost told Egypt Today that Business France is looking to increase the presence of Egyptian companies this year. “We [Business France] want Egyptians to come to Paris and meet with importers and also exporters,” explained Prévost.
There are three objectives that Prévost and Business France have from the SIAL 2018 exhibition: increasing French exports to Egypt, stimulating Egyptian exports to France and stimulating Egyptian exports to the European Union.
In comments to Egypt Today, Prévost said, “More and more French companies are coming to develop partnerships with Egyptian companies … the number of partnerships between Egyptian and French companies now are ten times the number they were three years ago.”
In 2018, two ideas make their reappearance. First, beverages will again be under the spotlight. Second, “Made in France” products will be assembled and promoted under the same banner. Moreover, the “equipment and services” zone will be back once again to allow micro-enterprises and small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which constitute 85 percent of exhibitors, to present their technologies and equipment.
The Alternative Food Sector: show within a show
This edition of SIAL will be offering a new special exhibition just for the Alternative Food sector, with hundreds of renowned experts on healthy eating from all around the world expected to visit. “It is a unique potpourri of experiences that we will be proposing for the first time in 2018,” explains Nicolas Trentesaux, director of SIAL Network. “SIAL has always been at the vanguard in food matters, and this year we wish to go even further with this Alternative Food sector, organised against the backdrop of SIAL, the world's leading food innovation exhibition.”
About SIAL Paris
Organised by Comexposium Group, SIAL Paris is one of the members of SIAL Network, the world's biggest network of trade fairs dedicated to food and drink. Its eight regular exhibitions (SIAL Paris, SIAL Canada in Montreal and Toronto, SIAL China, SIAL Middle East, SIAL Interfood in Jakarta, and FOOD India Inspired by SIAL in New Delhi) bring together 14,535 exhibitors and 359,800 visitors from 194 countries.
The Comexposium Group, a world leader in events organisation, is involved in more than 170 B2C and B2B events, covering 11 sectors of activity as varied as the food industry, agriculture, fashion, homeland security, construction, high-tech, optics and transport. Comexposium plays host to 45,000 exhibitors and more than 3 million visitors in 23 countries around the world.
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