Food sector to boom despite slower economic growth

BY    2013-05-19 07:53:07

  ZHENGZHOU - China's food industry will continue to experience steady and healthy growth in the coming years against the backdrop of a sluggish economy, according to an industry analyst.

  Xiong Bilin, vice president of the China National Food Industry Association, made the remarks Thursday at a food expo held in central China's Henan Province, the country's most populated administrative district.

  Despite the country's lackluster overall industrial performance, he forecast that the sector will grow at a relatively rapid pace in the next five to 10 years, and he projected that the industrial output value will exceed 10 trillion yuan ($1.61 trillion) in 2013.

  The industrial output of the food sector jumped 21.7 percent year on year to almost 9 trillion yuan last year, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

  Consumption capacity released by advancing urbanization and enormous potential in food processing enterprises will provide major impetus to the sector's boom, he said.

  In 2012, the country's urban population increased to 712 million, 52.57 percent of China's total population, NBS data shows.

  Xiong said he believes demand for food will be driven high, as the central government has targeted urbanization as another economic engine and an array of measures have been rolled out to more efficiently promote progress in this regard.

  He also noted that if Chinese enterprises further intensify their efforts in deep food processing development, which has great room for improvement compared to that of developed countries, the profit ratio in the food sector would rise.

  However, Xiong also admitted that more work is needed in industrial integration and mechanization.

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