(Yicai Global) Nov. 8 -- The ongoing import expo in Shanghai has attracted a large number of agricultural and food firms to showcase their products, including Danone's dairy and Wilmar International's edible oils, in order to gain a bigger market share in China.
Some 1,500 food and agricultural firms from 120 countries have brought their goods to the China International Import Expo. The exhibition area was expanded to two units instead of one, which reflects the strong interest of many trading partners, said Ren Hongbin, an assistant minister of commerce.
The value of imported foods to China grew 15 percent on average each year in the two decades between 1997 to 2017. Last year, this value exceeded USD60 billion for the first time, thus making China the world's largest consumer of imported foods, public data shows.
Singapore's Wilmar International, which processes grains and oils, came to the fair with goods from all of its product segments, a staff member said. Wilmar will expand investment and seize the opportunities amid China's opening-up, Chief Executive Kuok Khoon Hong said, adding that the firm will deliver quality products from various countries to meet the Chinese demand.
Paris-based Danone presented nearly 80 types of products including dairy and plant-based goods, bottled water and beverages, as well as infant and medical nutrition. Danone keeps on investing more in research and development, while committing to improve the nutritional benefits of its products, said Pascal de Petrini, deputy senior director of the firm.
The opening-up of the imported food market is gradually taking shape, said Liu Yuanfa, the dean of the School of Food Science and Technology at Jiangnan University.
Editor: Emmi Laine