Phl, Chile to expand bilateral trade

Philexport News and Features (The Philippine Star) - September 30, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines and Chile have agreed to further expand bilateral trade especially in the field of fruit trading.

Roberto Amores, Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. trustee representing the food sector, sees bullish agriculture business as trade barriers go down and consumer consumption capacities improve. 

“We are continuing to create higher value-added exports to supply the requirements of our partner countries as we also elevate our standards for agri-imports,” he told Chilean fresh fruit exporters during their recent visit here.

Amores said the Philippines is among the world’s largest exporters of banana and mango. It is also the biggest producer of pineapple and the largest exporter of coconut oil.

He said processed foods comprised about half of Philippine agricultural exports; while fresh foods and marine products shared the remaining 53 percent in 2012. 

“We’ve always looked up to Chile in terms of fruit export. Being the number one fresh fruit from the southern hemisphere, it is exciting that you are looking into expanding your market here in the Philippines,” he added.

Amores said there is a lack of supply for excellent quality fruits that Chile could export to the Philippines like table grapes, apples, kiwis, plums, nectarines, peaches, cherries and pears.

Citing studies, he said that fruit consumption in the country is expected to grow in the next few years as the middle class expands and more people turning to healthy eating.

“The purchasing power of the Filipino middle class has been encouraging foreign investments to come in. Thus, we are welcoming the prospect of increasing our importation of fruits,” Amores noted.

From 2006 to 2011, bilateral trade between Philippines and Chile surged five times.

“The good working relations between us in terms of exploring other avenues of cooperation especially in the fields of mining, geothermal energy, and now, fruit trading, gives us a very positive view of our bilateral ties,” Amores further said.         

AMORES BILATERAL CHILE EXPORTERS FRUIT PHILIPPINE EXPORTERS CONFEDERATION INC PHILIPPINES PHILIPPINES AND CHILE ROBERTO AMORES
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