Major Japanese trading company Itochu Corp says it plans to increase investment in the food sector in China under its new medium-term business plan starting next April.

Itochu will form alliances with Chinese companies to expand its operations in this rapidly growing market, president Masahiro Okafuji said at a press conference in Tokyo yesterday (24 August). “We will beef up investment related to livelihoods and consumption in China,”

Okafuji added that Itochu has invested in a Chinese television mail order company and is now considering expanding into the online retailing in China. ‘‘Distribution and sales networks are required in China,” he said.

With domestic demand slackening at home, Itochu Corp says it is putting particular emphasis on high-growth markets such as China.