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Ucima takes part in trade mission to Senegal

A series of institutional and business meetings were organised in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the aim of forging new business relationships in a fast-growing, investment-attractive country

The Italian packaging industry returned home with a strong sense of satisfaction following the high-level trade mission to Senegal organised by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, an intensive three-day visit that included numerous institutional and business meetings. The Italian delegation, coordinated by the Ministry together with the Italian Embassy in Dakar and the Italian Trade Agency ITA, included representatives of Ucima and of Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, Simest, Assafrica & Mediterraneo and Federunacoma.
Senegal is currently enjoying a period of strong economic expansion, recording real GDP growth rates of around 6% between 2015 and 2021. Despite the slowdown caused by the pandemic, the International Monetary Fund is forecasting real growth rates of 4.7% in 2022 and 8.1% in 2023. Trade between Italy and Senegal amounts to €223 million, of which €152 million consists of Italian exports. The biggest item is machinery (30%), up 43% compared to 2021. In particular, Senegal imports almost €20 million worth of packaging machinery, of which Italy is the main supplier with total sales of almost €7.4 million (37% of total packaging machinery imports).
After being received by the Italian Ambassador in Dakar, Giovanni De Vito, to discuss the aims of the mission, the delegation met with advisors to the Secretary General of the Ministry of Trade, Consumer Affairs and SMEs, the Minister of Agriculture and the heads of the Dakar Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, as well as representatives of the main international financial institutions present in the country: UNIDO, African Development Bank, World Bank and International Finance.
Ucima took part in a series of business meetings with trade associations and local entrepreneurs operating mainly in the agri-food and cosmetics sectors to discuss potential future scenarios. Some of these meetings were held directly on company premises, as in the case of large groups such as IBS, Groupe Simpa and Kirene Group.
Senegal is a vibrant and liberal democracy with good investment opportunities. President Macky Sall has made it his mission to revive the economy by encouraging private investment and creating local cooperatives and consortia to attract foreign investors, thereby supporting local manufacturing without placing excessive costs on individual producers.
A number of participants in the meetings mentioned the need to create their own production chains in the cosmetics and pharmaceutical sector and above all in the agri-food sector. This will inevitably fuel demand for food production technologies and equipment for packaging products that can be sold locally and exported, as well as for organising training activities for the local workforce.
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