THE Philippines posted a record-high $655.15 million in sales from its generated export transactions in November with the Chinese market.
According to the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (Citem), majority or 97 percent of the total amount came from on-site sales and bulk purchase contracts made by 62 local food and food-related companies that represented the country at the China International Import Expo (CIIE) held early last month in Shanghai.
The remaining 3 percent, on the other hand, were accounted for by their participation in online business-matching activities during the trade fair, per the export promotions arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
The Philippines continues to enjoy strong bilateral trade relations with China amid their territorial dispute over South China Sea.
In fact, product exchange between the two Asian neighbors has improved further even before the pandemic period.
“The amount of products we export to China has vastly increased in the past five to six years,” said Philippine Trade and Investment Center Shanghai Head Mario C. Tani.
He added that this year’s “sales were five times higher” than in 2018 when the country joined for the first time in the inaugural staging of the CIIE.
Surpassing the half-a-billion dollar mark, the above-cited amount is also the largest sales generated from such event since its inception four years ago, and the biggest yield recorded for a Philippine participation in any of the international trade events for 2022.
“Our participation in the CIIE has become not only a practical response to opportunity but an imperative to expand our international market, cement the Philippines’ reputation as a reliable sourcing destination for food, and introduce more quality food products into China’s mainstream markets,” DTI Secretary Fred Pascual said during the official opening of the expo.
Leading the design and conceptualization of the Philippine pavilion at the CIIE, Citem presented a one-country promotional approach with a single storyline or call to experience a “Festival of Island Flavors”, showcasing three brands, namely, FOODPhilippines, CoconutPhilippines, and Liwayway China’s Oishi.
During the event, the DTI, through its Trade Promotions Group (TPG) and the Export Marketing Bureau, also built strategic alliances with Chinese business partners.
It signed cooperation intentions with two of China’s largest food chambers, the Beijing-based China Chamber of Commerce of Foodstuffs and Native Produce (CFNA) and the Shanghai Food Association (SFA).
With their combined 7,500 company-members, these partnerships will be crucial to improve cooperation between Filipino and Chinese firms in areas, such as business-matching, technical cooperation, and investments to bolster food production capacity.
“We value the partnership with CFNA and SFA as we pursue increased collaboration in enhancing food trade. We hope that this can progress to deeper collaboration in the whole value chain in food production, processing and marketing,” said Glenn Peñaranda, DTI assistant secretary and TPG officer-in-charge.
Image credits: Lightboxx | Dreamstime.com