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17th Americas Food and Beverage Show to showcase global culinary scene

The 17th Americas Food and Beverage Show will feature more than 500 booths filled with specialty products from every corner of the globe, including country pavilions representing Algeria; Argentina; Bolivia; Brazil; Brazil/Goias; Canada/Atlantic Canada; Colombia; Ecuador; Peru; South Korea; Thailand; Turkey; and the United States.

NASDA will host the USA Pavilion (www.nasdatradeshows.org) with 90 small businesses. DeWitt Ashby, NASDA's tradeshow director, and his team spend the months leading up to the show recruiting companies and pre-arranging meetings with buyers, suppliers and potential customers.

"A lot of companies have some really cool products but they lack the critical mass to take those products to bigger markets like Mexico and Canada," DeWitt said. "The Caribbean and Latin America are the perfect fit for their export business."

The Illinois Department of Agriculture recruits an average of 13 exhibitors a year to attend the Americas Food and Beverage Show. The results have been profitable for those that make the trip to South Beach. Last year, 12 Illinois-based companies attended the show and generated $1.9 million in sales, with an additional $2 million in sales still pending. "Our return on investment is 207 to 1," said Kim Hamilton, an international marketing representative for the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

Hamilton says the Americas Food and Beverage Show remains the best venue for companies eager to strike up export deals in the Western Hemisphere.

"This is the largest food and beverage show that targets the western hemisphere. And since most of the exports are going though Miami because it's a leading distribution center, it makes sense, for them to participate in the show," she said.

The show also features the 8th Annual Chefs Competition featuring international teams competing for cash prizes and the title of "Best Chef of the Americas". Visitors will also be able to take advantage of two days of business seminars geared to restaurants and food retailers.

The 17th Americas Food and Beverage is a trade-only event that is closed to the general public. Attendee registration is open throughout the show at www.americasfoodandbeverage.com.

The World Trade Center Miami is a member of the World Trade Centers Association, which is the preeminent global trade organization promoting two-way trade. There are 335 World Trade Centers located in 110 countries with a total membership of 2 million corporate members and associates. In the Western Hemisphere, there are more than 50 World Trade Centers either in operation or in the planning and/or construction state.

More than 400 exhibitors will showcase products from the following: Algeria; Argentina; Bolivia; Brazil; Brazil Goias; Canada/Atlantic; Canada/Manitoba; China; Colombia; Dominican Republic; Ecuador; France; Honduras; Italy; Nicaragua; Panama; Peru; Singapore; South Korea; Spain/Catalonia; Thailand; Turkey; and the United States. The 17th Americas Food and Beverage Show is sponsored by American Airlines, USDA, NASDA, and the World Trade Center Miami.