The sixth International Food and Hospitality Trade Event which promotes trade links in the food, restaurant and hotel industry opened today in Ho Chi Minh City at District 7’s Saigon Exhibition & Convention Center.
US Ambassador to Vietnam David Shear and U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Acting Under Secretary Michael Scuse were present to cut the ribbon of the US National Pavilion.
With Poland as the newest addition this year, Food and Hotel Vietnam 2011 has a total of 8 national pavilions, the largest number in its history, which introduce high-quality food and hotel products from Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Korea, Singapore and the US.
Robert Kloos, Vice Minister of German Ministry of Nutrition, Agriculture and Consumer Protection said the event was a valuable opportunity for German producers to get to know Vietnam’s market and foster growing business ties among the two countries.
This trade fair has attracted 373 companies, 74 percent of which are international ones which hail from 30 countries in the world like Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, the Netherlands, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Held every two years by the Ho Chi Minh-based VCCI Exhibition Service Company and Singapore Exhibition Services, the fair is considered Vietnam’s most established international food and hospitality trade event.
Stephen Tan, director of Singapore Exhibition said the trade event has expanded significantly in recent years to meet the demand of a growing food and hotel industry in Vietnam.
“In the last four years of 2011, the average food consumption rise up 10 percent, the total revenue of alcoholic drinks 9.6 percent and non-alcoholic drinks 10.7 percent”, Bui Thi Thuc Anh, head of VCCI said.
The country’s tourism has also grown tremendously, Ms. Anh said, as the first 7 months of 2011 saw an increase of 17.3 percent of international tourist visits, which has triggered many new international-standard hotel and resort projects in 2012.
“Thus this time our exhibition area has increased by 26 percent and the number of companies signing up for exhibition also goes up 12 percent compared with 2009,” Mr. Tan said.
A number of culinary competitions from coffee making, chef challenges to wine serving which are judged by international connoisseurs such as Justin Metcalf and Roderic Proniewski will also be held at this event.
“These contests will contribute to improving the quality and standard of service of Vietnam’s food and hospitality industry.” Ms. Anh said.
The International Food and Hospitality Trade Event will remain open until 5pm, September 30 at the Saigon Exhibition & Convention Center, 79 Nguyen Van Linh, Tan Phu, District 7, HCMC.