16 Aug 2012
Japan’s Agricultural Minister Looks to Hong Kong
Food Expo Opens with Japan as Fair’s First Partner Country
16 August 2012 – Japan is turning to Hong Kong for help in boosting its exports, particularly its food products, according to Akira Gunji, Minister of Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF). Mr Gunji was speaking today in Hong Kong at the opening of the HKTDC Food Expo.
“Hong Kong is a major hub for Japan and the rest of Asia because of its sea, air and land transportation, both for goods and people,” he said.
The two economies are strong trading partners, added Mr Gunji, noting that Hong Kong “is the largest importer of Japanese food products” in the world.
Last year, Hong Kong imported US$971 million in food and animal products from Japan, more than 25 per cent of Japan’s total food product exports. “Hong Kong people,” said Mr Gunji, “have the highest appreciation of Japanese food.”
The Japanese minister was in Hong Kong along with the more than 220 Japanese exhibitors participating in the 23rd edition of Food Expo, which continues through 20 August. That’s a new Japanese exhibitor record for the fair. Pleased that Japan was chosen this year as Food Expo’s very first Partner Country, Mr Gunji said he “sincerely hoped this would result in closer cooperation” between Hong Kong and Japan.
Beyond Food Expo, the HKTDC will also offer support to Japan at the HKTDC Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair, 8-10 November. Several special events will be organised for the Japanese exhibitors at the Wine Fair. They include a Chinese dinner and sake pairing, a sake workshop and a spotlight on sake cocktails.
Hong Kong is located within four hours of most of Asia’s key markets and five hours’ flying time from half the world’s population. Hong Kong International Airport, the world’s 10th busiest passenger airport, handled more than 53 million passengers last year. More than 100 airlines operate flights from the airport to about 160 locations worldwide, including some 40 destinations on the Chinese mainland.
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About the HKTDC
A statutory body established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is the international marketing arm for Hong Kong-based traders, manufacturers and service providers. With more than 40 global offices, including 11 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China and throughout Asia. The HKTDC also organises trade fairs and business missions to connect companies with opportunities in Hong Kong and on the mainland, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and online. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com