AMSTERDAM, February 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Turkey is the largest economy in Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the Black Sea basin and the Middle East. It is the European Union's 6th biggest trading partner and the world's 7th largest emerging economy. Furthermore, Turkey's food industry attracts more than USD 4 billion, offering vast opportunities for both regional and international food professionals. A population close to exceeding 73 million, the lack of market maturity and its favourable long-term economic structure, have made Turkey the next hot spot in the food industry. With the growth in population the Turkish Health Ministry has identified epidemic levels of obesity and is working closely with food manufacturers to drive the development of healthier foods. Moreover, Istanbul's unique geographical positioning bridging two continents, Europe and Asia, provides the perfect meeting place for global and regional food specialists. The leading event organizer UBM Live has launched Food ingredients Istanbul (Fi Istanbul), a high-level event focusing on innovation within the food ingredients industry. Counting with exclusive support from the Association of Food Additives and Ingredients Manufacturers (GIDAKAT), Fi Istanbul has been launched to specifically address consumer needs and to actively contribute to the development and production of healthier foods across the region to meet the challenges identified in the government's nutrition strategy. From 7-9 May 2013, Istanbul will host the first fully dedicated food ingredients event in the region providing a meeting place for food manufacturers and facilitating a sourcing hub of high quality food ingredients. Attendees will be able to talk to experts, gather intelligence as well as network with a forecasted audience of more than 3,000. As an event focused on business development, innovation and trade in a region with one of the fastest growth rates in the world, Fi Istanbul promises to be the most cost-effective platform to source new food ingredients, grow market share and nurture business networks and existing clients' needs.