Southeast Asian USMEF representative sees opportunities ahead

by | Jun 7, 2023 | 5 Ag Stories, News

The Asia-Pacific region is an important market for American red meat exports. Jihae Yang is the new vice president of Asia-Pacific for the U.S. Meat Export Federation. Yang brings a lot of USMEF experience to the new role.

?I joined USMEF in 1998, and my first role was pork specialist, promoting pork in the Korean market for a couple of years,? Yang said. ?And then, I changed my job scope to Foodservice Specialist for another couple of years. And then I became the director of Korea two months before the BSE occurs.?

Yang said it was a bumpy ride to navigate through the BSE challenge.

?It was actually a nightmare,? Yang said. ?The shutdown of the border on U.S. beef took place immediately, so it was a Christmas nightmare. And the Korean people react toward the food safety issue more radically than any other countries in Asia market, and the opposition party leverage the BSE issue to overturn the regime.?

Yang also talked about the countries she?ll work with in her new role.

?I covered Korea, Taiwan, China, and the ASEAN region, and I see that the growth potential definitely in China market,? Yang said. ?They’re just a big market but need a lot of work to establish the supply chain. Geographically, it’s a big country, so we need to spend more time to establish the supply channel as we have established in Taiwan, Japan, and Korea.?

Yang added that there are opportunities to do more business in the Asia-Pacific region.

?I see further growth in the developed areas,? Yang said. ?Even in developed areas like Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, we can increase the market share further down the road because their per capita consumption will continue to grow in the next five to 10 years. Definitely in the ASEAN and China markets, product availability is the key, especially in the ASEAN region. We still have access and the tariff disadvantage. So, with more products available, we definitely can grow the market share there.?

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