VIV Asia 2013 and Aquatic Asia 2013 opened Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at the Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Centre with a lively and dramatic Opening Ceremony attended by key leaders in government and agriculture from around the world.

The Welcome Address was offered by Gerard Leeuwenburgh, director of international exhibitions of VNU Exhibitions Europe and managing director of VNU Exhibitions Asia Pacific. Leeuwenbaugh noted that while there had been significant growth between the 2009 and 2011 VIV Asia events, VIV Asia 2013 had already set at least one new record. For 2013 the event includes 770 exhibitors from 48 countries.

Thongchai Sridama, board of directors and acting president of the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau, followed Leeuwenburgh’s remarks, saying he believed the event spoke to the strength of Thailand’s strong trade show industry.

Personality Awards

The 2013 VIV Asia – PAP Asia Personality Awards were presented during the ceremony by Nigel Horrox of PAP and Ruwan Berculo of VIV. The 2013 award recipients included:

Meat Personality Award: Vasit Taepaisitphongse, COO, Betagro
Poultry Breeding Personality Award: Sanya Theimsiri, president, Ross Siam
Poultry Personality Award: Erich Erber, CEO, Biomin
Pigs Personality Award: Rosemary Smart, executive director, Canadian Swine Exporters Association

Keynote speeches

The Keynote Address was given by David Heath, Minister of State for Agriculture & Food, United Kingdom. Heath had high praise for the event, observing that “No other trade show in Asia offers such a wide range of expertise and opportunities.” He added that many issues important to agribusiness professionals would be discussed during the course of the event.

Yukol Limlamthong, Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives of Thailand, offered Opening Remarks and the Keynote Message, speaking of his great pleasure that Thailand was the host country of VIV Asia 2013 and Aquatic Asia 2013. At the conclusion of his remarks he, together with other dignitaries present, cut the ceremonial ribbon to begin the event.