(Hokkaido Region) Hokkaido Food Business Meeting in Hong Kong 2008 (FY2008)
As evidenced by China, countries in the East Asia are experiencing remarkable economic growth, and are maturing as production bases, as regions with enormous number of consumers and as sightseeing destinations. Hong Kong people especially, are more likely to choose Hokkaido as a travel destination expecting not only its cultural attractions, but also its safe and fine quality food products. Through this exposure of the tourists, demands for Hokkaido food products are increasing. In the meantime looking at a breakdown of Hokkaido’s manufacturing makeup, the ratio of food products is higher in Hokkaido than any other prefectures in Japan (38.6% for Hokkaido, 11.2% for the country average [data: industrial shipment values in 2005]), indicating that Hokkaido dominates the domestic food products market. Against the backdrop of an increased concern for health worldwide, this business meeting was convened with the purpose of expanding Chinese market for Hokkaido food products which currently is limited to the Japanese market.
Date: September 21-25, 2008
Organized by: IIST, Hokkaido Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry, JETRO Hokkaido, Sapporo Products and Tourism Fair in Asia Executive Committee, East Asia Marketing Research Project Executive Committee
Co-organized by: Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC)
Supported by: Hokkaido Japan Hong Kong Society
Place: Hong Kong, China
List of Companies and Organizations Participating
-The Calbee Four Seas Factory
-The head office of Four Seas Mercantile Holdings Ltd.‘Hokkaido Night’
-Apita, City’ Super [Hokkaido Fair taking place],
In order to cultivate overseas markets for food products from Hokkaido, representatives from 22 food-related Hokkaido based companies exhibited their local products and held discussions with the potential Hong Kong buyers (ex. retailers, wholesalers, suppliers, restaurants, etc.). In the East Asia, including Hong Kong, products from Hokkaido have gained in popularity due to their perceived safety. Capitalized on this boom, this full-scale food-related ‘business to business’ meeting was organized for the first time in Hong Kong.
On the eve of the business meeting, ‘Hokkaido Night’ was held. During the event, food products from Hokkaido such as cheese, Sake, raw seafood and processed foods, were offered to Hong Kong administrative officials and people from relevant organizations. The night also provided them with an opportunity to deepen their understandings on Sapporo and Otaru cities through the presentations and shows.
About 140 persons from roughly 80 companies in Hong Kong attended the business meeting, sampled food products from Hokkaido, and enjoyed a vigorous exchange of views with their Japanese counterparts. More interests and attention were being raised to Hokkaido food products due to the social backdrop, where safety of food is considered so important. Even some Chinese citizens from the mainland came all the way to Hong Kong, seeking safe products of high quality. A tropical cyclone hit Hong Kong on the day of the business meeting, but even under the bad weather, the number of visitors almost amounted the numbers originally anticipated, which proved high expectations in Hokkaido food products. As a result of the meeting, some Hokkaido based companies seem to have a prospect of developing businesses with a couple of companies in Hong Kong. It would be essential that a factual investigation into import regulations and labeling issues, etc. for food products be carried out, and that appropriate support be provided to the companies participated in this mission to help develop businesses smoothly in Hong Kong
International Exchange Dept.