By Sheida May M. Yu, TIDS / Office of the Undersecretary for Trade Promotions Group
Spearheading promotion efforts to foster stronger economic relations with China, Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary for Trade and Promotion Abdulgani Macatoman led the Philippine delegation to the 16th China-Asean Expo (Caexpo) and 16th China-Asean Business and Investment Summit from September 21 to 24 at the Nanning International Convention and Exhibition Center in Guangxi province, China.
The 16th Caexpo is considered the second-biggest trade event in China, with a total exhibition space of about 124,000 square meters with 4,600 exhibition booths and around 57,000 visitors.
The DTI team highlighted the Philippines’s trade potentials through an exhibit of products and commodities from various sectors, including home, fashion and wearables, gifts, handicrafts, personal care, food and services.
The Philippine participation spotlighted this year’s featured destination, the province of General Santos City, also dubbed as the “City of Charm,” led by Mayor Ronnel C. Rivera. The exhibit, likewise, highlighted Philippine tourism and business opportunities to the huge Chinese and Southeast Asian market.
Aside from promoting the trade, investment and tourism sectors of General Santos City, the DTI also promoted the country’s developing economic zones in coordination with the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) and Board of Investments (BOI), as well as relevant investment promotion agencies (IPAs).
Meanwhile, the Philippine Investment Promotion Conference was held at the sidelines of the Caexpo on September 22, jointly organized by the DTI-Board of Investments and Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (Citem).
“The Philippine economy is in a position of strength to weather difficult global environment, its current landscape provides plentiful opportunities for domestic and foreign investors alike and the Philippine government remains committed to staying that course,” Macatoman said.
Through this international trade fair, China eyes to connect and boost its investments in Asean countries and provide infrastructure developments particularly for micro, small and medium enterprises to participate in the global value chain.
“PRRD [President Duterte] declared his personal guarantee to investors and call on businessmen to ride with [the Philippines’s] on its economic growth story to reach the ultimate goal of creating inclusive growth and shared prosperity to lead to a better quality of life for our countrymen,” Macatoman stressed.
“As we continue to further our efforts to improve trade relations with China, the Asean nations and the rest of the global market, the Philippine government shall, to the best of its abilities, commit to maintaining a conducive environment that allows businesses to thrive in moving toward a more streamlined global trade network,” said Macatoman.
The Philippines’s participation to Caexpo was led by DTI-Citem in partnership with the Local Government of General Santos City, Philippine Trade and Investment Centers in Guangzhou, Beijing and Shanghai, DTI-Export Marketing Bureau, DTI-Regional Offices, Foreign Trade Service Corps., BOI, the TPB and other IPAs.