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Japanese food traders target more exports to Thailand

To help reach its target of exporting 1 trillion yen (Bt300 billion) worth of food and agricultural products worldwide by 2020, Japan has set up a strategy to penetrate many markets, including Thailand.

Last year, Japan's exports of food and farm products reached 610.7 billion yen.

Koichi Takano, director of the agriculture, forestry, fisheries and food division at the Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro), said Thailand was a high-potential market because many Thais liked Japanese foods, while the country is a centre of Asean, which means many visitors come here.

Thailand is Japan's six-largest food importer, with imports last year worth 248 billion yen, up by 1.1 per cent from 2013. In the first half of this year, Japanese food imports by Thailand increased considerably, by 4.9 per cent year on year.

Most Japanese food companies are small and medium-sized enterprises.

Takashi Kato, assistant manager of Bangkok Food System, an exporter of Thai vegetables to Japan and importer of Japanese food to the Thai market, said the company had exported Thai vegetables to Japan for more than 30 years.

It foresees imports of Japanese foods to Thailand increasing, due not only to demand from Thais themselves but to the rising number of Japanese residents in this country.

Haruhiko Sunakawa of Okayama Fruits Company wants to export Muscat grapes to Thailand, along with other fruits such as peaches and strawberries.

He is now looking for distributors or modern trade outlets to buy such products.

Source: nationmultimedia.com

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