by Seafood Buyers, Media in Hong Kong
October 14, 2003
With an Emmy-like atmosphere, the media flashed photographs of a guest chef from Shunghi preparing salmon dishes at a table in the front of the room while Alaska king crab were displayed on a table nearby. Camera bulbs went off in a fanfare when Tung entered the room.
"It is a very big deal that he is here," said one event attendee.
Tung won the first election to the post of Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. He was elected uncontested for a second term that began in 2002. He is highly revered by the people of Hong Kong. Tung was presented a traditional Alaska gift, seafood provided by Icicle Seafood Chairman Don Giles.
Murkowski spoke for ten minutes and touted the benefits of Alaska salmon--rich in Omega 3, good for your cholesterol, memory, and no mercury content as main reasons to eat salmon. Guests downed Alaska seafood as a video prepared by ASMI played on a large screen. Images in the video included salmon being caught near Cordova and Alaska's pristine outdoors.
"Asia is a tremendously fast-growing market," said Murkowski. "We are pleased to have you experience our Alaska seafood. There is a high degree of acceptability for canned salmon in China."
Murkowski met with Hong Kong seafood importers, including Alaska seafood supplier Sprintech Development Limited, wholesaler, agent and distributor Sun Wah Food Holdings Ltd., food importer Whole Sun, Ltd. and Van Yu Trading Company, Ltd., an importer of seafood.
Fishery advisor Alan Austerman, Trade Director Margy Johnson and Bobby Thorstenson, President of United Fishermen of Alaska, also met with importers. Johnson and ASMI agreed to lead a delegation of seafood importers from Hong Kong to visit Alaska in the spring to experience firsthand the pristine beauty of Alaska and allow Alaska fishermen and processors to work one-on-one with Asian importers.
Murkowski added that there is also a growing interest in Alaska developing mariculture.
"With the building of a new Disney World in Hong Kong, plus growing use of seafood by airline, cruiseships and major hotel chains, Alaska seafood will be in an excellent position to grow the market," said Johnson.
In addition to the media tasting, seafood was also featured at a Discover Alaska Reception at the residence of U.S. Consul General James Keith on Victoria Peak, which Keith hosted for the Murkowski trade delegation.
More than 80 Hong Kong seafood buyers and officials were in attendance, in addition to forest product buyers who came in from mainland China to meet with the trade mission delegation.
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