BARCELONA, Spain, February 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
When it comes to buying and selling food and drinks, Spain's biggest trading partner is the European Union, with percentages of 70.5% in exports and 68.7% in imports. This close commercial relationship is underlined at Alimentaria 2016 - one of the world's biggest fairs for the food and drinks sector - which takes place at Fira de Barcelona between 25 and 28 April. International participation is headed by some 527 companies from Europe, primarily Italy, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, and it is expected that more than half the foreign professionals attending the Spanish fair will be from the EU.
Despite the growing importance of China, Japan, the United States and Latin America, European nations continue to be the main recipients of Spanish food and drink exports. France, Italy and Portugal account for almost 44% of total Spanish food exports, followed by the UK and Germany as the main destinations. Alimentaria expects to attract over 21,500 European trade professionals to discover the huge variety and quality of 'Made in Spain' agri-food products and to make business contacts with new companies.
At the same time, through its Hosted Buyers programme, Alimentaria will be inviting around 100 European importers and distributors, who will take part in a series of business meetings with exhibitors at the fair. The European countries with the highest number of buyers at these meetings are the UK (20), Germany (15), France (15), Netherlands (15) and Italy (7).
Alimentaria 2016 will also provide an effective entry point into the Spanish market for the more than 500 European companies that expect to make contacts with wholesalers and representatives of the retail and HoReCa channels. Italy, with 130 firms represented and growth of 25% compared to the previous edition, is the EU country with the biggest representation, followed by Germany (38), up 6% compared to 2014, France (36) and the UK (32).
With more than 140,000 visitors, 30% of them international, and hosting some 4,000 companies from 70 different countries, Alimentaria is the leading showcase for the gastronomy, food and drink of Spain, whose products are enjoying increasing recognition and presence worldwide.
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SOURCE Fira de Barcelona