Trade fair generates $165 million export sales

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star
Trade fair generates $165 million export sales
This photo shows crates carried by a forklift in the port of Manila.
Philstar.com / File

MANILA, Philippines — Over $165 million worth of export sales were generated at the country’s international food trade exhibition held earlier this month, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.

The DTI’s export promotions arm, the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM),  said that the initial and unofficial total export sales generated from the IFEX Philippines held on May 10 to 12, at the World Trade Center in Pasay City crossed the $165 million mark.

The export sales are higher compared to the $163.29 million raked in from the previous year’s edition.

The CITEM said this year’s event had an estimated crowd of nearly 10,000.

With more than 500 exhibitors and event partners from across the country, the IFEX welcomed visitors composed of the diplomatic corps, government agencies, international and local trade buyers and partners, retail customers and media outlets.

The IFEX is a platform to showcase the country’s food offerings, innovative craft and export capabilities.

“Our country has a rich tapestry of flavors that remain unknown to certain parts of the world,” CITEM officer-in-charge and deputy executive director Ma. Lourdes Mediran said.

Trade Undersecretary Ana Carolina Sanchez, who spoke on behalf of Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual, underscored the importance of having mechanisms like the IFEX to promote inclusive growth opportunities and sustainable development.

For food in particular, she said the DTI has a partnership with the Department of Agriculture and  Clark International Airport Corp. for the Three-Year Food Logistic Action Agenda, which focuses on establishing secure food distribution routes and access points.

This is expected to result in affordable and reliable food sources across the country.

Meanwhile, DA Agribusiness and Marketing Service OIC and director Junibert de Sagun, commended IFEX for continuing to be a world-class showcase for Philippine food.

The IFEX included over 42 regional exhibitors.

Beyond serving as a business-to-business platform, de Sagun said IFEX provides an opportunity to promote more trade relations and economic opportunities.

“As we continue to share our language of food to the world, we look forward to more fruitful partnerships for a masaganang Philippines,” he said.

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