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USSEC, together with the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), organised the 2017 Asia Grain Transportation Conference (GTC) in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Mary Tarnowka, U.S. Consul General, U.S. Embassy, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, officially opened this year's GTC at the Sheraton Saigon. The event received its highest turnout to date with over 230 participants from across the region and beyond, with 12 nationalities representing around 100 companies. A large delegation of U.S. Soy family members and stakeholders attended, comprised of soy grower leaders, U.S. exporters, speakers, and guests.
The North and South Dakota Qualified State Soybean Boards (QSSB) were the main sponsors of this year's conference, represented by Mike Appert, vice chairman of the North Dakota Soybean Council, and Joshua Kayser, South Dakota Soybean Association director.
A reception was held for sixteen U.S. grower leaders from eight states and other U.S. Soy Family representatives, which provided a positive message to the participants and also helped to draw the connection between U.S. growers with their destination markets even closer.
As a result of the collective efforts of the organizers, sponsors, supporters, U.S. Soy Industry representatives, and presenters that provided their expertise and insights, 92 per cent of 132 respondents polled indicated that this year's conference experience was between 'high value' and 'very high value.' The majority of participants rated the speakers highly with over 93 per cent indicating their experience from 'good' to 'very good.'
The presentations were broad ranging, yet in-depth with relevant discussions about key Asian markets, the global outlook for grain and soy, trends in ocean freight, and supply chains for food and agri-products. This year, the organisers introduced two special forum sessions, the 'U.S. Ag Producers Forum' and 'U.S. Ag Exporters Forum,' which were also very well received and attracted strong participation and responses from the participants. Since introducing the e-platform, Pigeonhole, five years ago to manage the questions and answer sessions for these events, the quality of participation and interaction has been outstanding.
"Vietnam is one of the world's fastest growing markets for soy because of rapid economic growth and rising population. I gave a presentation this morning on the global soy supply and demand situation. This afternoon I moderated a panel discussion of U.S. farmers attending the meeting. I am very impressed with those attending and with the positives happening in this country. Vietnam ostensibly remains a communist country, but you would not realize it because of all of the capitalism happening here. Great, growing market for U.S. Soy," John Baize, USSEC consultant said.