A booth at the Vietnam Food Expo 2017 (Source: foodexpo.vn)

HCM City (VNA) – The Vietnam Food Expo 2017 opened at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre in Ho Chi Minh City on November 15 with an aim of supporting food enterprises to promote trade and expand markets both at home and abroad.

Opening the event, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said that Vietnam’s food industry is developing rapidly with increasing contributions to the country’s GDP and export revenues.

He noted exports of Vietnam’s agro-forestry-aquatic products hit 22.4 billion USD in 2016 and 21.3 billion USD in the first 10 months of this year, up 17.1 percent year on year and accounting for 12.3 percent of the country’s total export earnings.

In the coming time, the enforcement of new-generation free trade agreements and the dynamic development of the world economy are also expected to create new chances for Vietnam’s food industry.

Meanwhile, Bui Kim Son, Director of the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said that the event is a good chance for Vietnamese firms to promote their products and seek new partners.

Son said that the two previous exhibitions have contributed to Vietnam’s food industry, adding that last year, the expo connected Vietnamese firms with Italian partners who later decided to build three agricultural product processing factories in Vietnam.

The Vietnam Food Expo 2017 drew 600 booths of 450 enterprises of Vietnam and 20 countries and territories. France, which sent 30 leading firms in the food processing industry to the exhibition, was chosen as the honorary country of the event.

On the occasion, the organizing board also held a number of conferences and trade promotion programmes.

The expo will last until November 18.-VNA