A Salute to Asia's Food and Beverage Industry

7 September 2011

Speech-Asia-Food-ExpoRemarks of Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
20th Asia Food Exposition
World Trade Center
7 September 2011

Your excellencies of the diplomatic corps
My colleagues in government,
Officers and staff of this 20th Asia Food Exposition:

Good morning to you all.

To the many exhibitors and trade buyers from 37 countries who have crossed the oceans to take part in this 20th staging of the Asia Food Exposition here in Manila, let me say to you all: Mabuhay and welcome to the Philippines.

Allow me to commend the organizers of this exposition, the lna Management Group Corporation, for staging for the 20th year running this historic and highly commendable event which gathers under one roof leaders and members of Asia’s vast food and beverage industry.

Let me extend a special word of congratulations to the national delegations that have graciously put up pavilions to showcase their country’s food and beverage products.

Your presence here in Manila testifies to the great importance that we Asians attach to the food and beverage industry in our continent and in our lives.

Here in the Philippines, no less than in your respective countries, this industry is a vital component of our national economy. It contributes heavily to our gross domestic product. It employs millions among our people. It attracts thousands of tourists from around the world. And it is a key part of our commerce and trade with the world.

Expositions like AFEX 2011 are an important driver of the world economy today.

It is through trade expos, as participated in by countries and traders, that we are able to drive and propel growth in our respective economies.

For almost all our countries, food is a major part of our exports to the world. For some, they are a great source of economic dynamism, especially at this time of vigorous growth in our continent and in the Asia-Pacific region.

Today, our food industry is more important than ever. Because its growth and dynamism signifies so much hope for the future and well-being of millions all across Asia, who depend on agriculture for their living.

As agriculture grows and expands, so do the lives of many in our rural communities improve. It is one of the happiest developments in recent years, that with the dynamic growth of Asia’s developing countries, there is also, according to the Asian development bank, this companion and other phenomenon -- and this is the emerging transformation of the Asian rural economy, and the rescue of millions from mass poverty

This is our shared hope and prayer.

In closing, let me say that this yearly exposition contributes to this tide of change in Asia.

And all your efforts as organizers, exhibitors, and buyers have great meaning for the welfare and future of our peoples, our countries and our continent.

May this exposition long endure as a magnet for cooperation among us Asians. And thank you all for having me here today.

Salamat at Mabuhay.