UN world food body targets Hong Kong office

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 22 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 22 January, 2013, 4:12am

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is considering setting up an office in Hong Kong, said its China representative, Brett Rierson.

WFP's role is to promote food security and combat hunger around the world.

"The Chinese government wants to raise private donations for food security programmes. Hong Kong is a good place to raise funds," Rierson said.

Earlier this month, Beijing confirmed that it would match private-sector donations to the WFP for similar programmes related to China, he said.

"It's going to be the private sector and job creation that will end world hunger," Rierson said.

Even in Hong Kong, some children do not have enough to eat, and a third of the elderly get fewer than three meals a day, he said.

Hong Kong is a major hub for mainland agricultural firms to finance and conduct their overseas investments, said Frank Ning Gaoning, chairman of Cofco, the mainland's biggest state-owned food conglomerate.

Five large Chinese agricultural companies, including three subsidiaries of Cofco - Cofco Packaging, China Agri-Industries Holdings and China Foods - are listed in the city, and they all conduct their overseas deals through Hong Kong, Ning said.