Freeman Cebu Business

Filipino exhibitors generate $655 milion sales in China expo     

Ehda M. Dagooc - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  Filipino exhibitors at the recently held China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, China posted a total of $655.15 million in sales, the highest yield recorded for the Philippines’ participation anywhere in the world for the year.

It is also the highest sales generated from the CIIE since its inception in 2018, said the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM).

The Philippines’ hybrid participation led by CITEM included 62 food and food-related companies, the highest number of Philippine exhibitors in the CIIE to date.

“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,” said Secretary Fred Pascual of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

On-site sales and bulk purchase contracts accounted for 97 percent of total sales, while the remaining three percent came from online business-matching activities.

“The amount of products we export to China has vastly increased in the past 5-6 years, and sales were 5 times higher compared to the first time the Philippines participated in the 2018 CIIE,” noted Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) Shanghai head Mario C. Tani.

The CIIE was launched in 2018 as one of China’s major trade promotion initiatives, with China  President Xi Jinping attended the first two editions in Shanghai. Despite the pandemic, increased sales were generated both in 2020 and 2021.

At the forefront of the CIIE pavilion design and conceptualization, CITEM presented a one-country promotional approach with a single storyline, a call to experience a “Festival of Island Flavors.” The Philippine pavilion showcased three brands: FOODPhilippines, CoconutPhilippines, and Liwayway China’s well-known Oishi brand.

The DTI, through its Trade Promotions Group (TPG) and the Export Marketing Bureau (EMB), also established strategic alliances by signing 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 a combined membership of 7,500 companies, these cooperation arrangements will be critical to enhancing cooperation between Philippine and Chinese companies in areas such as business matching, technical cooperation, and investments to boost 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 DTI’s OIC for TPG, Assistant Secretary Glenn Peñaranda.

The Philippines’ hybrid participation is led by DTI through CITEM, its export promotion arm. It is co-organized with the Foreign Trade Service Corps (FTSC) through the Philippine Trade and Investment Center-Shanghai (PTIC-Shanghai), the Export Marketing Bureau, together with partner agencies, the Department of Agriculture (DA) through the Office of the Agricultural Counsellor in Beijing (OAC-Beijing), and the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT).

CITEM’s FOODPhilippines promotes the country as a source of quality food products and ingredients in physical and/or digital trade shows and business-to-business platforms in priority markets around the world. Under the FOODPhilippines banner, the Philippines is positioned as an exporter of healthy, organic, natural, and specialty food products and services.

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