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Department of International Trade Promotion announces opening of “THAIFEX – World of Food Asia 2015”

The Department of International Trade Promotion, the Thai Chamber of Commerce, and Koelnmesse recently held a grand opening ceremony for the THAIFEX – World of Food Asia 2015 event. The ceremony was served to kick start a showcase of the best offerings from the Thai and global food industry. The event features business negotiation sessions on May 20- 22, followed by retail sales for the public on May 23-24 at Challenger 1-3 buildings and Impact Forum Hall 9, IMPACT Muang Thong Thani.

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Deputy Commerce Minister Mrs. Apiradi Tantraporn noted that the Thai food industry has a vital role to play in driving economic growth. In 2014, the industry generated $24 billion or 800 billion baht in revenue for the country, and Thai products like rice, processed chicken, canned and processed seafood, frozen and processed shrimp, and food additives rank among the world’s top five in global export value. Thailand boasts distinctive strengths in raw material variety and manufacturing expertise as well as the ability to utilize advanced technologies for industrial purposes, all of which give Thailand the potential to become the kitchen of the world. Additionally, the industry understands the need for hygienic, safe, and high-quality products with fully retraceable and transparent procedures throughout the supply chain.

“The government has placed considerable importance on the development of the export sector for agricultural and food products with the aim of achieving competitiveness and leadership on the global level. At the Ministry of Commerce, I have assigned relevant departments the task of supporting Thai exporters in these sectors through strategic approaches to marketing and opportunities to branch out into new markets. Thai manufacturers are encouraged to develop products with added value and strong branding in order to build confidence in their quality standards, ultimately making Thailand the first country that comes to mind when it comes to agriculture and food. To support Thai businesses in related and equally important matters, the government and the Ministry of Commerce have engaged with Thailand’s trade partners to build a positive relationship through a front-foot approach to negotiations and attempts to reduce trade barriers on various levels, while Thai businesses are given the opportunity to develop and attain high competitiveness, allowing them to take to the global stage in a strong, effective manner. THAIFEX – World of Food Asia, organized by the Ministry of Commerce through the Department of International Trade Promotion together with two partners in the private sector, represent one of the Ministry’s mechanisms to achieve this goal,” said the Deputy Minister.

Mrs. Nuntawan Sakuntanaga, Director-General, Department of International Trade Promotion, added that THAIFEX – World of Food Asia features the very best that the Asian food industry has to offer and aims to make Thailand the hub of major food product, service, and technology expos in Asia. This year, the show floor has been expanded to cover 70,000 square meters of floor space across Challenger 1-3 buildings as well as Impact Forum Hall 9, providing excellent products than ever before and fulfilling the growth needs of the industry itself.

THAIFEX 2015 is divided into various zones for different product and service categories. The food and beverage zone, for instance, features vegetables and fruits, organic farming, Halal food, instant and ready-to-eat food, seafood, frozen food, meat and poultry products, healthy food, food additives, rice and rice-based products, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, coffee and tea, and snacks and confectionery. Like the previous annual edition, THAIFEX – World of Food Asia 2015 also includes special zones for certain product and service categories, such as World of Seafood, World of Coffee & Tea, and World of Food Service.

Activities of interest in this year’s THAIFEX include:

• Thailand: Kitchen of the World – an activity held to underline Thailand’s status as one of the world’s leading manufacturers and exporters of food products, making the country the “kitchen of the world” – especially when it comes to rice, rice-based products, and world-famous Thai cuisine

• Activities and exhibitions featuring the ‘THAI SELECT’ mark – designed to promote Thai food and food products with ‘THAI SELECT’ certification for the world to see – complete with a certificate awarding ceremony for new THAI SELECT-certified Thai food manufacturers

• Halal food exhibition – featuring Thai and international Halal food products

• I+D Style Café and TTM + PM Award – a modern-style café with a cozy, warm, and friendly atmosphere, decorated with innovative, eco-friendly merchandise as well as products bearing Thailand Trust Mark (TTM) and Prime Minister Business Enterprise Award (PM Award) certification, plus an exclusive consulting corner for businesses interested in taking part in the Institute’s various projects

• DITP Service Center: SMEs to AEC – a zone that presents the latest information and recommendations from the DITP, combining services from the Department’s various units – including international trade information and advice from DITP Call Center 1169, recommendations and Thaitrade.com registration from the Office of Digital Commerce, and the Public Relations Office’s news updates on Thai products and services for international entrepreneurs via E-newsletters and www.thailandhorizon.com.

• Activities to promote edible herbal products – featuring products made from popular Thai herbs in ready-to-eat form, such as beverages and food supplement pills. Also included are herbs with health benefits, such as Pueraria candollei, black galingale, or curcuma. These products are featured in an exhibition designed to resemble a modern drug store, increasing their chances of securing modern-trade distribution deals. On May 19, the ‘THAIFEX 2015 – Wellness Culinary Tours’ activity will be held to offer a taste of healthy dishes, health-based massage, and healthy cooking courses – introducing service champions in the process and informing visitors, participants, and competing chefs of various ideas and inspirations for healthy food.

• ‘60+’ exhibition – featuring products from members of the 60+ initiative as well as a shop- style showcase of products for the elderly under the “Royal Healthy for Japanese Senior’s Life” theme. Products on show are sorted into four groups: Quality Agriculture, Thai Touch Traditional, Thai Touch Casual, and Edible Cures.

• Rice berry exhibit – promoting products designed in response to market demands and focusing on the origins, growing techniques, and unique nutritional qualities of rice berry. This zone features live exhibitions and showcases of products and services based on rice berry.

• Contests – including the Thailand Ultimate Chef Challenge and the Global Chefs Challenge Semi-Final Continental Competition, the latter of which is coming to Thailand for the first time with 36 contesting chefs from 12 countries

• Seminars / conferences – including the World of Food Safety Conference, Asian Food Franchise Forum, and Thai GAP – a conference on the development of agricultural businesses to meet international safety standards

THAIFEX – World of Food Asia 2015 features over 1,600 exhibitors from 34 countries in almost 4,000 booths and with Turkey on board as a new Partner Country. The DITP expects the event to attract 112,000 visitors from all around the world – including those from Asia, the US, Australia, the Middle East, Europe, Japan, and more – resulting in business dealings and retail revenue that match or exceed last year’s total, especially given the positive economic signs shown by Thailand’s major trade partners and the expected increase in demand for food products.

“The Department of International Trade Promotion is very confident of the Thai food industry’s readiness to take to the world stage, thanks to the wide range of quality food products that are recognized by nations the world over. Thai businesses possess the ability and creativity to innovate and create, while the government is actively supporting them through the opening of new trade channels that continually expand Thailand’s network of international trade relations. These factors will help drive the growth of our food industry on the continental and global stages effectively and fulfill the policy of making Thailand the kitchen of the world,” concluded Mrs. Nuntawan.

The Department of International Trade Promotion hereby invites food manufacturers, importers, exporters, and the general public to visit the THAIFEX – World of Food Asia 2015 event, which will begin with business negotiation sessions on May 20-22, 2015 from 10:00 to 18:00, followed by retail sales days on May 23-24, 2015 from 10:00 to 20:00 at Challenger 1-3 buildings and Impact Forum Hall 9, IMPACT Muang Thong Thani.

For more information and the latest updates, visit www.ditp.go.th and www.thaitradefair.com or call the DITP Call Center 1169.

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