On April 19-22, a 17-member U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) trade mission led by former Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, now President and CEO of USDEC and coordinated by Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) including President and CEO Richard Smith, visited Singapore looking to spur sales of U.S. dairy ingredients, cheese and dairy products and establish a presence in this market.
Initial plans include establishing research & development operations in Singapore by the end of this year to explore creating processed cheeses, flavorings and beverages. Singapore was favored because of its strategic trading location as well as being home to over 3,700 U.S. multinational companies.
The changing U.S.-Southeast Asia trade dynamics prompted Vilsack and key members of the dairy industry to take a closer look at export opportunities and gain closer ties with Southeast Asia.
The trade delegation met with the American Embassy’s Stephanie Syptak-Ramnath, Chargé d’Affaires, and Joani Dong, USDA Regional Attaché, and staff. The delegation also visited retail operations and food service companies. According to U.S. Census Bureau trade data, total U.S. exports of dairy products to Southeast Asia came to US$671 million in CY2016.