Food science and food processing are the focus of the 8th ASEAN food conference taking place in Hanoi, Vietnam this week. Organised by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) the event will aim to encourage new business opportunities for the food and drink industry in the region through link-ups and new technologies.
A key motiviation behind ASEAN, established in 1967, is to accelerate the economic growth in a region which currently has a combined GDP of US$737 billion and a total trade of US$ 720 billion.
The four-day conference, ending on 11 October, is a great chance for local firms to get themselves and their products known to foreign counterparts, who will come to join an expo to be held along side the conference, said Luu Duan, vice chairman of the Vietnam Food Science and Technology Association.
Plenary sessions cover the current buzz topics in the food industry and include the 'Contribution of food science and technology to modernization of Vietnam agriculture and rural development' from Prof. Dr. Bui Ba Bong at the ministry of agriculture and rural development in Vietnam, 'Functional food of interest to ASEAN: from Chinese experience to modern production and trading' by Prof. Dr. Jin Zonglian from China's Peking United university, and 'Genetically modified food: issues on acceptance, prospect, and challenge for consideration in ASEAN' by Prof. Dr. Paul Baumgartner at the university of Western Sydney in Australia.
Conference topics will look at food Biotechnology and nutrition, advanced technology and trends in the food industry, food engineering and packaging and food microbiology and safety.
The event is also the venue for the international exhibition ProPak Vietnam2003, featuring food packaging and processing technologies."It will be a good chance for exhibitors to showcase modern food processing technology," Duan said. The expo is organised by Bangkok Exhibition Services Ltd. (BES) and All world Exhibition in collaboration with VCCI EXPO, an arm of Vietnam's chamber of commerce.
BES managing director David Aitken said the invited exhibitors and visitors at ProPak Vietnam2003 would be from Italy, Britain, Thailand, Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, France, Germany, Malaysia, the Philippines and China.
The organisers said there would be 58 exhibitor, including manufacturers of machinery and equipment, and technology providers in the food packaging and processing industry.
The five original ASEAN member countries are Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. Brunei Darussalam,Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar and Cambodia have since become members.