Egyptian Delegation Sees Opportunity In South Dakota

SIOUX FALLS, S.D – South Dakota farmers might soon have another trade partner. One state representative is hosting delegates from around the world, showcasing what the AG industry does best.

State representative Michael Saba’s goal is simple.

“Bring new dollars into South Dakota and to preserve South Dakota’s agricultural heritage,” he says.

He’s looking to sell South Dakota AG products to Egypt.

The delegation met Monday morning at Poet in Sioux Falls. Egyptian ambassadors appear interested in making a deal.

“Put together a group of business people to come to explore that possibility of really dealing directly with the producers of this state, particularly South Dakota, because we are major importers of the crops in this state,” says Egyptian ambassador Hamdi Saleh.

The initial conversation included Egypt buying 10 thousand tons of soybeans and other products — like corn and wheat. Saba is also showing off the AG technology of the state. He thinks the agreement’s going to make a difference.

“The difference will look like sales, more sales,” says Saba.

And sales not only in Egypt. He says the country is in the perfect location.

“Linked to a larger market both in the Middle East and Africa,” says Saleh.

South Dakota seems to be making a good impression.

“People are coming from the country side, from rural areas and so on. I told them, you are going to meet people exactly like you, friendly, direct, they wanted to do business, not to talk politics and to waste time and so on,” says Saleh.

I’s the first step in an alliance that could strengthen in years to come.

“To follow a relationship that will be beneficial for both sides,” says Saleh.

The delegation is scheduled to visit Brookings tomorrow and Watertown and Aberdeen on Wednesday. Saba doesn’t have a time table for when the deals will be finalized.


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