Chinese businesses invited to tap the potential of Pakistan’s billion-dollar food market

By Mariam Raheem | Gwadar Pro Jul 8, 2023

SHANGHAI, July 8, (Gwadar Pro)- “The food and beverage processing industry is the 2nd largest industry of Pakistan after textiles. Pakistan’s high-quality specialty foods, including meat, sea food, value-added fruits and dairy products, are exported globally for their high quality and favorable prices. We welcome Chinese enterprises to learn more about Pakistani advantageous food industry and commonly build a sustainable future for food security,”highlighted Mr Athar Hussain Khokar, Director-General, Agro Division, TDAP.

At a webinar hosted by the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) and Consulate General of Pakistan in Shanghai on July 6, Athar Hussain Khokar pointed out that FoodAg, Pakistan’s 1st international food and agriculture exhibition showcasing potential of Pakistan’s dynamic agro and food industry would provide a unique opportunity to visitors and exhibitors through its networking and matchmaking platform is scheduled from 10-12 August.

In total, there are approximately 2,500+ food processing units in Pakistan. Food processing accounted for an annual average of $223.5m in FDI from 2012-2018. Retail sales of processed food are expanding 10% per annum with current estimated size of about $1.4 billion (including $325 million worth of imported products), according to TDAP.

Pakistan’s processed food and agro-based products exports to China in 2021 were worth US$ 538 million, of which semi-milled or fully-milled rice, whether polished or glazed, and broken rice accounted for the first place in exports. Exports of seafood also showed a significant upward trend.

The COVID-19 pandemic has boosted consumers’ awareness of health, and Chinese consumers’ demand for nutritious, healthy food with diverse flavors is increasing. Pakistan is rich in natural and healthy foods, including honey and olive oil, which are popular among Chinese consumers who are increasingly demanding dietary adjustments.

Apart from the presence of top brands including Matco, Garibsons, Shaan, etc, the investment conference is another highlight of the FoodAg. On the occasion, companies from China will sign memorandums of understanding with Guard Rice, Pakistan. The investment conference will introduce in detail the policies and incentives for investment in food factories in Pakistan, transfer of advanced Chinese technology to Pakistan, and process food locally and export.

Pakistan Contact Center In Shanghai (PCCS) is organizing Chinese traders to participate in the first FoodAg to visit Pakistan’s rich food and agricultural products resources and explore trade opportunities to export Pakistani food and agricultural products to the Chinese market.

Eric Gao, secretary general of PCCS shared that based on the current collection of corporate intentions, Chinese companies have shown keen interest in importing Basmati rice, flour salt and beef from Pakistan. “In addition to the traditional import and export trade, we will also segment Pakistan’s food categories and promote them in China through Internet marketing. Through the deepening of cooperation, Pakistan will serve as a breakthrough for Chinese enterprises to go overseas.” he concluded.

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