SATURDAY, MAY 4, 2019, KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian unique Food & Beverages (F&B) products are set to take centre stage at Asia’s top trade fair, HOFEX 2019, in Hong Kong this May 7 to 10. With the participation 30 Malaysian companies joined by Malaysia’s trade promotion agency, Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), the participation in HOFEX 2019 will promote the awareness of Malaysian F&B products and help to grow Malaysia’s F&B export to buyers from Asia and beyond.
According to MATRADE’s Trade Commissioner in Hong Kong, Ms Noor Ezzwanee Ahmad, there has been strong interest among Malaysian companies to take part in HOFEX given the event’s prominence among buyers from around the world. This year, the trade fair will feature more than 2,800 booths and is expected to draw over 42,000 visitors from more than 70 countries. “There are various business and networking opportunities at this biennial trade fair and over 20,000 foreign buyers will be attending the event. Trade events in Hong Kong often have been the preferred platform for global traders, entrepreneurs and manufacturers to promote and launch their products to other markets, due to the city status as a free trade port,” she said.
As part of MATRADE’s continuous effort to promote Malaysian brands, its office in Hong Kong will facilitate the business matching of Malaysian exporters participating in HOFEX with potential buyers from Hong Kong, Macau and China. Over 780 business meetings are expected to take place.
“Business matching is one of MATRADE’s main facilitations for Malaysian companies and with our extensive network and market intelligence gathered over more than two decades, Malaysian companies can rest assured that they will be matched with high quality buyers. We hope the engagement will provide Malaysian companies the opportunity to discover buyers from around the world in Hong Kong and to make the city a gateway to China and other parts of the world,” added Ezzwanee.
The participation in HOFEX 2019 will help to enhance brand Malaysia by leveraging on the country’s unique ingredients such as Durian. “Our Musang King and 3 in 1 coffee are very popular in Hong Kong, so much so they can be considered staples here in Hong Kong. These products are sold in almost all shops and local eateries. Even McDonalds here feature “Musang King from Malaysia” in promoting their sundaes,” Ezzwanee shared.
During HOFEX 2017, Malaysian companies have successfully secured more than RM20 million in export value and the participating companies were also able to find distributors in Hong Kong, China and other parts of the world too.
Hong Kong is a main market for Malaysian exporters. The city relies heavily on imports; with 95 per cent of F&B products are imported. The city is also a major trading hub for re-exports into mainland China, Macau and other neighboring markets in Asia. With a population of more than 7.4 million and a strong tourism industry (over 65.1 million tourist arrivals were in 2018), Hong Kong is considered a high-value market for F&B products.
In addition, Hong Kong is a stylish ‘shop window’ among the mainland China tourists who visit the city each year. Supermarkets, fast food stores and themed restaurants are an integral part of shopping and dining out habit among the people in Hong Kong. This means there are many opportunities for Malaysian F&B exporters in Hong Kong.
“There is a growing interest on Halal F&B in the market to cater to the local Muslim population and a number of local outlets too are keen to bring in more Halal products to attract Muslim tourists to Hong Kong,” Ezzwanee explained.