Sweet taste of success as Thai-Hokkaido food firms match up at IconSiam
Some 160 Thai businesses and 17 food manufacturers from Japan’s Hokkaido prefecture were brought together at the one-day “Hokkaido Premium Food Show” in Bangkok’s IconSiam on Friday.
The aim of the event was to introduce quality ingredients catering to Thais’ growing love for Japanese cuisine.
Participants tried new food and beverage, while exchanging business cards to expand their opportunities.
Ambassador Nishida Kazuya said Thailand is an important market for Japanese food, adding that between 2021 and 2022 as many as 915 new Japanese restaurants were opened in Thailand, bringing the total up to 5,325 – the highest ever.
This also demonstrates that the Covid-19 crisis has had no effect on Thai demand for Japanese food, he said.
Tsuchiya Shunsuke, Hokkaido’s vice governor, said he was delighted by the business-matching event, which is being held for the first time in three years.
Though business could be conducted via virtual contact during the Covid-19 crisis, it has always been preferable to meet in person and experience the true taste of Hokkaido, he said.
He added that the Hokkaido prefecture intends to hold similar business meetings to strengthen trade ties with Thailand and other countries.
Arada Fuangtong, deputy director-general of the Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP), said Japan is Thailand’s third-largest trading partner, contributing to 10% of total exports worth 59.3-billion-baht last year.
Thailand too is a key export market for Japan, importing 343 million baht worth of food in 2021, up 41% from the previous year.
“Hokkaido is known for its food-production quality and today’s business matching event will offer Thai businesses a good opportunity to learn how food is processed in Hokkaido and turned into top value products that are acceptable worldwide,” Arada said.
Shunsuke, meanwhile, reckons the event will open more distribution channels for Hokkaido food to penetrate Thailand and the rest of Asean.