Buenos Aires, Argentina- More than 560 food exporting companies from Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) met with 120 international buyers from five continents at LAC Flavors 2017, where they closed transactions valued at a projected amount of $152 million, according to preliminary data from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
This is the ninth edition of LAC Flavors and the first time it takes place in Argentina. The event is organized by the IDB, the Argentine Investment and Trade Promotion Agency (AAICI, as per its acronym in Spanish), the Ministry of Agribusiness of Argentina and the ExponenciAR Group (Clarín and La Nación), in addition to 24 other export promotion agencies.
More than 3,000 one-on-one, 30-minute appointments were conducted during the two-day event held November 7 and 8. The meetings had been pre-scheduled through an online matchmaking system developed by LAC Flavors at its ConnectAmericas.com platform. Most of the participating companies were small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that sought to expand their business, contacts and knowledge at a minimal cost.
The agribusiness sector plays a fundamental role as an engine for economic development in Latin America and the Caribbean, accounting for 24 percent of regional exports in 2016, with a value of more than $198 billion.
Argentina is the seventh largest producer of food and the thirteenth largest agricultural exporter in the world, generating more than 500,000 jobs. Argentina produces food for 450 million people - 10 times the size of its population - and aims to feed 650 million people in the coming years. In the past two years, it has opened 40 new export markets.
"Once again, LAC Flavors positioned the supply of value-added foods from Latin America and the Caribbean to the rest of the world, proving that it is key to innovate with certifications, quality brands and technology to export foods. That is exactly what LAC Flavors is about: learning, innovating and doing business," said Fabrizio Opertti, Chief of the IDB's Trade and Investment Division.
In its eight previous editions, held in different countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, 12,000 bilateral meetings were held at LAC Flavors, generating business with an estimated value of more than $600 million.
The IDB, through the Integration and Trade Sector, invests almost $1 billion in export promotion and trade facilitation projects.
Next year LAC Flavors will be held in Chile according to an announcement made during the closing of the event.
About the IDB
The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.