HONG KONG—Industry executives from more than 60 countries recently gathered for the first annual Natural Products Expo Asia at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The event—including more than 4,000 retail, manufacturing and supply buyers—was seen as a milestone for the burgeoning industry in Asia.
"We've said for some time that the industry really needed this event to galvanise growth for the natural products industry in Asia, so we are delighted that exhibitors and buyers responded so positively and enthusiastically to the first show," said Michael Westcott, managing director for show organiser Penton Media Asia.
The show featured a cross-section of natural products including organic and natural foods, herbal and complementary medicines, personal care, nutraceuticals, functional foods and dietary supplements. There were country pavilions from the United States, Thailand, India, Singapore and New Zealand.
An extensive educational programme ran concurrently with the exhibits. Keynote speaker Richard Eu, group chief executive officer of Eu Yan Sang International Ltd, in Singapore, noted that Asia has the oldest knowledge base for alternative medicines and should take a leading role in the global nutrition industry. However, he said it would take a "mindset change" in order to get beyond existing problems such as standardisation and cultural differences.Natural products Expo Asia will take place next at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on June 1820, 2003.