CAIRO, Siwa Oasis in the Egyptian Governorate of Mersa Matruh, on Saturday, witnessed the launch of the 3rd Egyptian Date Palm Festival, being organised by the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and the Council of Mersa Matruh Governorate.

The opening ceremony was attended by Tarek Kabil, Egyptian Minister of Trade and Industry, Major-General Alaa Abu Zeid, Governor of Matruh, Prof. Abdelouahhab Zaid, Secretary-General of the Award, and a number of foreign ambassadors accredited to Egypt.

The festival is being held under the initiative of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, to develop the date palm industries in Egypt and find creative marketing solutions to increase the economic value of dates.

Nearly 189 exhibitors from Egypt, Libya, Sudan and the UAE are participating in the event Statistics by the Ministry of Trade and Industry showed that UAE’s efforts to develop the sector in Egypt have led to an 8 percent increase in date exports, 19 percent in value, 10 percent in price and 11 percent in foreign market penetration.

Egypt’s date exports grew 25 percent in 2016 as compared to 2015, making it one of the world’s ten largest date exporters.