March 16, 205


VIV Asia 2015 turns into a marketing battleground for key exporting countries




The three-day VIV Asia 2015 feed and livestock trade show in Bangkok, Thailand, which ended on Friday, March 13, virtually turned into a marketing battleground for countries trying to promote their respective technologies and companies.

With the introduction this year of the "partner country" initiative, Asia's prominent feed-to-meat trade show has degenerated into a marketing contest of sort for some countries.  The Netherlands, VIV Asia's first-ever "official partner country," took the occasion to make a pitch for the 77 companies, which took part in the exhibition.

In her video address at the opening of the VIV Asia 2015 at the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre (Bitec) in Bangkok, Dutch Agriculture Minister Sharon Dijksma encouraged foreign enterprises "to embark on new partnerships with Dutch companies" which, she said, are "firmly focused on innovation and international cooperation."

These companies, which manufacture "pioneering" products and revolutionary equipment, "understand what the world needs." They have a "crystal-clear understanding of the importance of continually innovating to remain competitive, responding to trends in consumption, and following food and feed safety standards.

As a country, the Netherlands is the world's second largest exporter of agricultural products. "The productivity of Dutch agriculture is high: no country on Earth produces so much in such a small area."

She assured the world, which faces "the challenge of sustainably feeding over 9 billion people by 2050," that her country is committed to help "sustainably double (world) food production without exhausting land and resources" in the coming years.

Ruwan Berculo, VIV Asia project manager, said that the Netherlands, with 77 exhibitors, was among the five countries with the most number of participating companies in VIV Asia 2015. The four other countries were China (140), Thailand (84), France (72) and the United States (72).

As partner country, Netherlands had one of the biggest pavilions at the cavernous exhibition site.

To pitch for their respective companies, the United States and France also had big and imposing pavilions at VIV Asia 2015. Even countries like South Korea saw it fit to have its national presence, through a pavilion, in what organisers now see as the future world expo on animal husbandry and meat processing.  

Curiously, China, which had the largest corporate presence in the exhibition, didn't have a national pavilion of its own.  But just the same, China loomed large in the whole event, thanks to the introduction of the "Welcome China" special event. An interactive communication and knowledge-sharing platform in Chinese, it was expected to draw more guests from China and Chinese-speaking visitors from around the world.

Interestingly, Taiwan seized the opportunity to debut on the big stage by taking part in VIV Asia 2015 and pitch for its biotech and animal health companies.

A state-funded group called the Agricultural Technology Research Institute (ATRI) rented a large space at the trade show on behalf of 10 Taiwanese companies seeking wider export opportunities.

The ATRI booth represented five feed additive and two animal vaccine manufacturers, among other companies.

Industry people who thought VIV Asia 2015 was only for the big players couldn't believe their eyes. In their own modest way, Tunisia and Morocco took part in the exhibition to promote their own companies. Of course, they did it without those expensive pavilions or slick booths and with the least, if at all, fanfare.

Some countries, such as Belgium, didn't have any pavilion or booth at Asia's most important agricultural fair. But the Belgian ambassador, Mr. Marc Michielsen, together with the Investment and Trade Counsellor of Belgium's Flemish Region,   met with representatives of the 25 Flemish companies who took part in the exhibition to wish them success in their quest "to set up new – or consolidate existing – relations with companies in Southeast Asia."

Mr. Berculo said VIV Asia 2015 had 874 exhibitors, a record-breaking number. The last edition of the trade event, VIV Asia 2013, had only 770.

Though the numbers have yet to be validated, more than 30,000 local and foreign guests were expected to visit the three-day event, according to Mr. Berculo.
  The imposing US pavilion at the VIV Asia 2015, promoting key American feed-to-meat industries.
  Not to be outdone, South Korea also had its own glitzy pavilion at Asia's biggest animal husbandry event.
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