LatAm food and beverage fair kicks off in Chile

    24 de septiembre de 2018

    Santiago, Sep 24 (efe-epa).- Representatives from some 450 Latin American food and drink producers were in the Chilean capital on Monday for the opening of the 10th LAC Flavors trade fair, which gives them the chance to contact some 120 buyers from 35 countries

    This is the first time that the two-day event, organized by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), takes place in Chile.

    Throughout the nine previous editions, more than 15,000 meetings were held and at which deals were closed worth $756 million.

    "This year we have a record number of companies signed up including 80 percent of Chilean companies, which is a powerhouse of food and drink suppliers, so we hope to break some records...but we don't want to get ahead of ourselves," IDB integration and trade specialist Mikael Larsson told EFE.

    Notable besides Chile's participation is the presence of suppliers from Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia and Brazil.

    The buyers, meanwhile, come from the United States, Canada, Russia, France, Germany, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, China and South Africa, among others.

    The IDB representative said that among the food and drink suppliers taking part in LAC Flavors, there are some that are already exporters, while others are taking their first steps into internationalization.

    "We try to include new companies because our goal is to have more of the region's companies exporting every day," Larsson said.

    Jorge O'Ryan, director de Chilean export-promotion agency ProChile, said the food industry is "tremendously important" for his country.

    "Last year we exported $16 billion in food products, and this year we hope to reach $20 billion," O'Ryan said.