According to data published by Chinese Food Industry Association, total output of the food industry reached CNY2000 billion (€194bn) during the first 10 months of 2006, increasing by 23.17 per cent compared with the same time of last year. The industry recorded a profit of CNY126.3 billion, up by 29.05 per cent on last year. The food industry is one of the fastest growing industries in China, said the association. Wang Wenzhe, president of the Chinese Food Industry Association, told AP-Foodtechnology.com: " China's overall economic condition in the past ten months was very good, which laid down an essential base for the fast growth of the food industry. Meanwhile, the central government has been very supportive by implementing preferential policies promulgating regulations and setting up industrial standards." " He said that beverage is one of the best-performing sectors during that period. Its total production was 35.96 million tonnes, increasing by 22 per cent compared with the same time of last year. Investment in beverage sector has also surged to CNY 41.614 billion, increasing by 58.7 per cent, which is even one of the highest in all the industries in China. "Of course, dairy, biscuits, confectionery and others are also doing well, " added Wang. Big companies are major contributors to the growth. Wang said that during the first half year of 2006, profit generated from the 47 food companies listed on Shanghai and Shenzhen Stock Exchange amounted to CNY3.33 billion, increasing by 75.2 per cent on the prior year's same period. China's GDP is expected to continue growing by 9.5-10 per cent next year, putting the industry in a good position for growth in the coming year. "I believe the food industry will be on the same track and the development speed won't be slower than 2006," " said Wang. Interview by Pan Yan.