California food exporters put Hong Kong at the forefront of Asian trade expansion plans
Aug 15, 2019

Hong Kong --( ASIA TODAY )-- The State of California, the largest producer of food (by value) in the United States, is stepping-up business activities in Hong Kong in the face of increased tariffs from China, helping cement the city’s role as Asia’s largest food and beverage trading entrepôt. This, according to the California State Trade Expansion Program (STEP), which has put Hong Kong firmly at the centre of its efforts to boost trade in Southeast Asia, and beyond.

The move coincides with the ASEAN-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement (AHKFTA), which came into effect on 11 June, and will speed the flow of tariff-free goods and services between Hong Kong and Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Singapore, and Thailand - the first ASEAN members to ratify the deal.

“The signing of the new Free Trade Agreement gives added impetus for California exporters to build on their Hong Kong plans as a way of mitigating the effects of the ramped-up China tariffs,” said Jeff Williamson, Director, California STEP. “The city has always been seen as lead market for U.S. exporters entering Asia, with its excellent financial, legal and logistics infrastructure bolstering its role as major facilitator of trade within the region.”

Last year, California Food and Agricultural exports to Hong Kong and China totalled US$2.96 billion with 41% imported into Hong Kong.

California is the leading global supplier of almonds and pistachios, and is a top producer of fine wines, tomatoes, seed oils, oranges, apricots, grapes, strawberries, beef cattle and dairy - produced on more than 77,500 farms and ranches.

The state accounts for 13.5 percent of agricultural cash receipts in the United States, valued at US$50.24 billion dollars, according to the most recent figures from the Economic Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture.

Among its initiatives, California STEP will be hosting a California Pavilion (Hall 5C-Booth B16) at the Hong Kong Food Expo from 15-17 August at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Attending, will be best-in-class exhibitors including Les Desserts, Warnock Foods, One Organic, BMA USA, Raincane Vodka, to name a few. California’s pavilion will also be featuring companies that produce fine wines, animal feeds, dried fruits, almonds and walnuts.

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About California STEP

The California State Trade Expansion Program (California STEP) project leverages a statewide network of state, federal, private and non-profit trade promotion organizations to facilitate export promotion, activities, serving targeted industries, to drive exports for small businesses.

Managed by the California Department of Food and Agriculture in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GOBIz) the network of STEP Partners implement a range of export promotion programs serving multiple sectors, including Information & Telecommunications Technologies, Green Technologies, Food and Agricultural Products, California Lifestyle Products, Aerospace, Medical and Scientific Instrumentation, Transportation Equipment and Industrial Machinery.

Issued on behalf of California State Trade Expansion Program by Newell Public Relations.

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