HONG KONG, June 27 (Xinhua) -- Over 300 exhibitors from over 35 countries and regions along the Belt and Road displayed their food products and looked for business opportunities at Hong Kong's First "Belt and Road International Food Expo" (BRIFE) that opened here Wednesday.
"Food is absolutely indispensable to the masses. And food' is also a key ingredient of the Belt and Road Initiative," Calvin Yip, chairman of the organizer BRIFE Committee said at the opening ceremony of the expo, pointing out that most of the countries and regions along the Belt and Road are attaching an importance to the development of agriculture and food industry.
The three-day expo, under the theme "Steering World Food Industries to New Opportunities", aims to provide a one-stop professional platform for global agri-food trade and investment cooperation and promote unimpeded trade.
Besides pavilions for product display and agri-food trade and investment, the expo also includes a pavilion for Hong Kong professional services providers to help the exhibitors with cross-border e-commerce, finance logistics, law, taxation, quality inspection and certification, etc.
"Hong Kong's professional bodies such as legal, accounting and banking services have been praised by the international community... They have accumulated valuable experience that can provide professional consultancy services to overseas firms aspired to expand in China market," Yip said.
The First "Belt & Road Agri-food & Trade Summit" was also held Wednesday during the expo, with ministers of agriculture and trade from several countries and industry representatives discuss national policies on agri-food and opportunities brought by the Belt and Road Initiative.
One of the exhibitors, Georgian Culture Asia Association, exhibited wine, diary products and other food made in Georgia, as well as investment opportunities in the country in east Europe. The association's founding president Koba Nadareishvili told Xinhua that his organization has been based in Hong Kong since 2005 and finds it a "great place for doing business" with advantageous system, practical businessmen and supportive government.
"This expo held in Hong Kong is a good platform for us to exchange products as well as culture," he said, "We already have business in European countries, Japan and China. Now we are targeting more countries along the Belt and Road, such as African countries."
"Hong Kong has the advantage of acting as an extremely well-connected mediary within the Belt and Road blueprint, and this exhibition is a reflection of how Hong Kong can optimize its strong point," Yip said, "It brings China's diverse food products to the world, and also introduces cuisines of Belt and Road countries to the China market."