Okinawan exports increase 43 times

Okinawan exports increase 43 times

Trends of volume of products carried by air.

March 23, 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo

In the airfreight container project instituted by the Okinawa Prefectural Government (OPG), which is designed to expand the market for Okinawan products, the volume of products carried by air in the 2011 fiscal year increased about 43 times on a monthly average basis in comparison to those of November 2009 (before the project started). The increase was about 83% compared with that of fiscal 2010. The project has started to come into its own.

A representative of the OPG said, “The international cargo hub operation developed at Naha Airport by All Nippon Airways (ANA) has greatly contributed to the promotion of Okinawan products. We have succeeded in increasing exports of dressed meats and green goods as well as processed foods. Exports have been on the up this year.” The OPG expects further expansion of exports.

The project hires space in air cargo containers to carry Okinawan products from Naha Airport to Asian cities such as Hong Kong and Shanghai, where ANA operates cargo flights. Although the transaction volume only amounted to a monthly average of 0.4 tons before the project started, the volume in the 2010 fiscal year reached 9.4 tons. This increased to 17.2 tons during the period from April 2011 to January 2012 in the 2011 fiscal year. Thanks to an exhibition of products held in Hong Kong last August transaction volume reached 40.2 tons, the highest ever figure.

A representative of the OPG said, “Okinawan products attracted great interest from consumers in Hong Kong. We are aware of the heightened visibility of our products and want to keep promoting farm goods, livestock products and processed foods from Okinawa by actively holding exhibitions of products in the future.”

By category of available product in the 2011 fiscal year, green goods such as mushrooms, goya and cucumbers accounted for the largest percentage at 36%, livestock products such as pork, beef and eggs accounted for 15%, processed foods such as pork luncheon meat and frozen food for 13% and cold beverages for 8%. It is reported that Okinawan cuisine dishes made with fresh ingredients were popular in the restaurant in a hotel during the exhibition held.

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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