This year’s event, the second of its kind, will be held at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre from June 28 to 30 by the Investment and Trade Promotion Center of Ho Chi Minh City (ITPC) and the city’s Food and Foodstuff Association (FFA), heard a recent press briefing.

This major food and beverage (F&B) trade show will feature nearly 300 booths where more than 200 Vietnamese and foreign F&B exhibitors will display and promote their products.

Representatives of the organizers at the press conference

Items to be on display include raw and processed food products such as agricultural products, seafood, spices; machinery and equipment for food production, packaging, and preservation, among others.

A range of activities will take place to promote the culinary culture of Vietnam and other countries during the three-day fair.

Seminars will also be held to discuss new trends and technologies in the processed food industry, opportunities and challenges to export to major markets, and the future of green, clean and sustainable food. Meanwhile, a conference will discuss ways to improve the competitiveness of exporters of food to China, a major market for Vietnam.

Visitors will also have a chance to participate in B2B matchmaking sessions aimed at connecting F&B businesses with potential trade partners and investors.

ITPC Deputy Director Tran Phu Lu said the HCMC FOODEX, first held in 2022, is set to take place in October annually, but amid declines in both domestic consumption and exports, the ITPC and FFA decided to advance this year’s fair to late June to give timely assistance to businesses in seeking partners, expanding markets, and boosting exports.

Food processing is always an important sector with much development potential in Vietnam. In Ho Chi Minh City, it is one of the four key industries given priority and contributes about 14 - 15% to the local industrial production value. As Vietnam has signed a number of free trade agreements, F&B firms in the country, particularly in Ho Chi Minh City, have great advantages to tap into the domestic market and export to major markets in the world, he went on.

Hit by domestic and global economic uncertainties, this industry has witnessed a sharp fall in exports. According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, agro-forestry-fishery exports stood at 15.66 billion USD in the first four months of 2023, down 13.3% year on year. In Ho Chi Minh City, the turnover dropped 19.8% while the industrial production index in the F&B sector also decreased 0.8%.

Echoing the view, FFA Vice Chairman Nguyen Dang Hien noted though food is among essential goods, this industry has still suffered from negative impacts of inflation and prolonged military conflicts in some regions around the world. Meanwhile, despite many promotion programs, the domestic purchasing power remains weak.

Enterprises expect HCMC FOODEX 2023 will generate chances for them to connect with partners, introduce products to domestic and international markets, and access cutting-edge technology for production and business activities, he added.

Source: VNA