Freeman Cebu Business

Philippines rake in $597 million sales from international trade expo

Ehda M. Dagooc - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — The Philippines raked in a total sales of $597.34 million from the recently concluded Chinese International Import Expo (CIIE), which signifies a stronger trade ties between the Philippines and China.

“This year’s results show the continuously growing trade relationship between the Philippines and China. We are grateful to have the opportunity to showcase outstanding Filipino food products in the international market and are looking forward to expanding this relationship in other industries,” according to DTI Undersecretary for Trade Promotions Group (TPG) Abdulgani Macatoman.

The Philippine delegation was represented under the FOODPhilippines signature brand of Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM).

Highlighting the Philippines as a source for healthy and organic products, the country’s pavilion housed 40 local companies that exhibited a range of tropical fruits, processed fruits and vegetables, healthy snacks, seafood and marine products, and other premium food products.

China stands as the leading export trade partner of the Philippines representing approximately 27 percent of the country’s total exports.

Last year, the trade show participation grossed $462 million worth of onsite export sales, of which $455.689 million worth of export deals came from signings and commitments and $6.17 million worth of onsite booked sales and business matching activities.

Outperforming last year, this year resulted in 29.3 percent growth for onsite export sales. A significant amount of export deals came from Memorandum of Understanding sales, amounting to $575.03 million from signings and commitments.

A total of $22.31 million came from sales booked and inquiries on the trade floor and business matching activities organized by the Department of Trade (DTI) Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) and Food2China.

“The Philippines is a great sourcing destination for food products because of its diverse agricultural landscapes and rich gastronomy. Especially with this pandemic, the demand for healthy products is high and the country is poised to be a leader in this category,” said CITEM Executive Director Pauline Suaco-Juan.

“Our promotion of Philippine food to China and other countries does not end with our participation in CIIE. We are continuously promoting our export products 24/7, anytime anywhere through IFEXConnect.cn, our B2B platform for food exporters, and FOODPhilippines.cn, our community platform for Filipino food. These websites allow us to widen our reach and strengthen our engagement across the globe. Buyers and food enthusiasts who want to know more about Philippine food are welcome to check out our platforms,” added Suaco-Juan.

The Philippine participation in the CIIE is organized in partnership with the Foreign Trade Service Corps (FTSC) through the Philippine Trade and Investment Centers in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong, EMB and Liwayway Corporation. The delegation partners include the Department of Agriculture (DA) through the Office of the Agricultural Counsellor in Beijing (DA-OAC-Beijing), the Department of Tourism in Shanghai, Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT), and the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII).

The new norm for the exhibition industry is the adoption of hybrid event formats where there is a physical exhibition or trade fair that is held but provisions for digital exploration are also integrated in order to cater to a broader audience given travel and logistical restrictions during this pandemic. From placing QR codes on shelves and making digital lookbooks and assets available for buyer consumption to organizing virtual meetings across borders, the Philippine pavilion offered user-friendly and dynamic spaces to ease the expo trade experience.

Specific for this event and the Chinese market, CITEM has also launched FOODPhilippines China Portal (https://foodphilippines.cn/ciie2021/), which is an information platform where potential buyers from China can explore the different exhibitors of CIIE and request B2B meetings. As an added value to exhibitors, CITEM has also enhanced its presence on China’s social media platforms — Weibo and WeChat, where the agency promotes Filipino products and services to a broader Chinese demographic.


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