Over 300 MSMEs expected to join Manila FAME April 21-23

Local firms seek bigger slice of US$217-trillion global real estate market in PH’s largest design and lifestyle event

MSMEs joining
Obra Cebuana is one of the companies returning to the 65th Manila FAME April edition to tap the booming real estate and hospitality industry under its ‘Projects’ theme.

More than 300 local Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are expected to showcase the distinct Philippine design and craftsmanship in the 65th edition of Manila FAME on April 21-23 at the World Trade Center Metro Manila (WTCMM) and the Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC).

“Through CITEM’s aggressive exhibitor campaign drive, the 65th Manila FAME April edition promises a wider range of product options for the Home, Fashion, and Lifestyle sectors. We will offer our global buyers a visually exciting and fulfilling sourcing experience,” said Clayton Tugonon, newly appointed CITEM executive director.

MSMEs joining2
Tugonon invites local companies in the ongoing Philippine International Furniture Show (PIFS) to also participate in the upcoming Manila FAME April Edition.

Importers, retailers, wholesalers, merchandising agents, traders, architects and interior designers in countries, such as USA, Canada, Japan, South Korea, China, Germany, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Australia, have already started signing up for the event.

The three-day fair creates more opportunities for Philippines companies to leverage on the booming global market for design services, and architectural and interior contract market in the real estate and tourism industry.

Coming back for its April edition are the top-earning Philippine companies from previous editions, such as the Luzon Rattan Industries, Luzon Rattan Industries, Phil Treasures, Inc., Jalikee Arts and Craft, Prado Filipino Artisans, Basket & Weaves Handicraft Manufacturing, Obra Cebuana Furniture Designs, Inc., CM Bamboo Craft Center, Cubo Philippines. Cyprea International, Inc., Shell Arts Co., Inc.

“As Asia’s premiere design and lifestyle event, Manila FAME is in a strategic position to zero in on the huge demand in the international contract markets that will secure new trade deals and much-needed job opportunities for Philippine manufacturers, exporters, business support organizations and designers,” said Tugonon.

According to calculations of international real estate adviser Savills, the global real estate business have grown into a US$217-trillion industry as of 2015. It further stated that real estate will have a bigger impact on global monetary conditions and investment activity and which, in turn, has the power to most impact national and international economies.

International economic consultancy firms Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) also reported in 2016 that the rapid growth in tourist travels, technological advances, and globalization serves as the primary driver for the real estate and hospitality industry, further stating that online travel agents, such as Airbnb and Travelzoo, are becoming increasingly popular for the way they help guests fit travel into their lives, and then customize their travel preferences, particularly on millennial business travelers.

In addition, nearly all of the world’s major travel regions are currently outpacing their prior year hotel bookings, indicating a very healthy outlook for the hotel industry, based on Tourico Holiday’s 2017 Global Hotel Trends report.  Collectively, the total number of hotel room nights booked has increased significantly, growing 28.7 percent around the globe.

At the event, buyers and visitors can source through a wide range of Philippine indigenous materials for home, fashion, holiday, architectural and interior design. They will witness new design perspectives, use of new materials and novel ideas from seasoned and emerging Philippine designers.

Manila FAME will also bring into one venue the homegrown Philippine brands that made a mark in the global design world, as well artisans and craftsmen from regional groups and grassroots communities across the country.

Manila FAME is a bi-annual showcase of craftsmanship in Philippine products. It features finely selected furniture and home furnishings, holiday gifts and accessories, designed and crafted in the Philippines for the global market.

Manila FAME is Asia’s premiere design and lifestyle event and second longest-running trade show in the Asia-Pacific, organized by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), through the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM). It is the only trade event in the country that is approved by Union des Foires Internationales (UFI), or the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, a Paris-based association of trade fair organizers founded 90 years ago in Milan, Italy in April 1925.



New DTI-CITEM chief moves to uplift PH export promotion

Newly appointed CITEM Executive Director Clayton Tugonon.

The Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) is set to strengthen its efforts in promoting Philippine companies in the global market under its newly appointed Executive Director, Clayton Tugonon.

“CITEM will be more aggressive in its promotional efforts in positioning the Philippines as a global destination for quality export products and services as we continue to maintain the highest standards of creativity, excellence, and innovation,” said Tugonon.

“CITEM recognizes the vital role of MSMEs in building the Philippine brand globally. We are also aware that they need support so they can compete in international and local markets. It is important that we uplift small-scale businesses so that they will receive the same opportunities as other established corporations,” he added.

Tugonon will lead CITEM in organizing the 65th edition of Manila FAME on April 21-23, and the 11th edition of the International Food Exhibition (IFEX) Philippines, which are both held at the World Trade Center Metro Manila (WTCMM) and Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC).

“Ensuring the success of these two shows will be critical in supporting the government’s strategy for inclusive growth since the food and design-oriented furniture and garments industry are two of the 12 top priority sectors identified as priority development areas in generating quality employment and higher income opportunities,” explained Tugonon, saying that it will lead “to poverty alleviation and better quality of life for Filipinos.”

The new Executive Director seeks to intensify the creative collaborations between local micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), exporters, designers, and manufacturers in CITEM’s signature events and overseas participation.

Tugonon also said that he will be talking to the exhibitors at the shows to encourage them to improve their products, with emphasis on “innovation and transfiguration.”

He intends to capitalize on the export coaching programs instituted by CITEM to bolster the export-readiness of Philippine companies and manufacturers. The DTI sub-agency will hire experts as consultants to advice on MSMEs on the pricing and design of their products, he added.

On March 6, Tugonon formally accepted a compilation of reports and briefing from CITEM deputy executive director Ma. Lourdes Mediran during a ceremony as a symbolic gesture to underscore her new role as its new executive director.

Tugonon vowed to institute reforms and streamline CITEM’s operations, as well as institute cost-cutting logistic measures, to effectively use the agency’s fund for promotional efforts.

Before his appointment to CITEM, Tugonon traveled across the Philippines to encourage more local companies and stakeholders to participate in CITEM’s key events and international exhibits.

Newly appointed CITEM Executive Director Clayton Tugonon met with members of the Davao Fashion Council and the Bagobo weaving community to drumbeat participation for the upcoming Manila FAME on April 21-23.

Tugonon is the first CITEM Executive Director hailing from the Visayas since the sub-agency was established on 1983. He is a graduate of Bachelor of Science, major in Biology, and an alumnus of the San Carlos College of Law in Cebu.

Before his appointment, he became known as a businessman for the family-owned Raphael Legacy Design from 1988 to 1994 and, later on, as the owner and president of the Classical Geometry Export Trading which he established in 1995.

Throughout his career as designer-manager, Tugonon has brought international prestige to the Philippines for some of his crafts, including the “Una Cebu Car,” which is the first automobile in the world manufactured using indigenous materials exclusive to Cebu designed after a 1959 Porsche 356.

Modeled after a 1959 Porsche 356, Una Cebu Car’s dashboard is fashioned from a blend of sea shells, while the spiraling exterior is crafted from the stalks of coconut flowers.

His aptitude for design innovation and management skills earned him several awards, such as the ‘International Awardee for Furniture Design’ in Slovakia, Singapore and Japan, and the ‘Presidential Awardee for Design’ during the Arroyo administration.

For his expertise, the multi-awarded Cebuano became part of the Board of Trustee of the Cebu Furniture Industries Foundation (CFIF), and the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as a mentor of the One Cebu Obra Negosyo Eskwela.


Agribusiness experts share latest food trends and innovations in PH’s biggest food show

CITEM, MAP-ABCDF prep free food R&D seminar at IFEX Philippines


IFEX food seminars
All IFEX Philippines participants are welcome to join the exciting line up of food research and development seminars in the upcoming 11th edition of IFEX Philippines.

The export promotion arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Management Association of the Philippines-AgriBusiness and Countryside Development Foundation (MAP-ABCDF) will conduct a free seminar series on the latest food trends and innovations with leading agribusiness experts at IFEX Philippines—the country’s biggest food trade show.

The Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (DTI- CITEM) ties up with MAP-ABCDF to invite leading researchers and educators to conduct food-related discussions on May 19 and 20 at the Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC).

MAP ABCDF is a leading non-government organization (NGO) in agribusiness and countryside development that provides access to innovation, entrepreneurship, management services and leading edge technologies through its network of movers and shakers in the Philippine agricultural sector.

“For its 11th edition, CITEM has prepared a good lineup of seminars that can help international and local stakeholders make informed decisions in conducting export deals and making investments on the lucrative food sector in the Philippines,” said newly appointed CITEM Executive Director Clayton Tugonon.

The two-day talk titled ‘AgriBusiness Research and Development Forum’ will tackle Philippine food innovations, modern farming applications, and agricultural developments in the country’s leading research institutions, such as the University of the Philippines Los Baños and Sugar Palm Research Information and Trade (SPRINT) Center at the Cavite State University.

On May 19, Dr. Shirley Agrupis from Mariano Marcos State University will share the research and development efforts on the Ilocos Norte Black Garlic using the technology adopted from Japan and South Korea. UPLB Researcher Claudette Oraye will talk about the business potentials and production of the indigenous vegetables in the Philippines.

For May 20, Dr. Ofrero Caparino, Chief of the Department of Agriculture’s bioprocess engineering, will discuss the opportunities in a village-level coconut water processing system. Petteri Makitalo, general manager of The Freefood Co., will likewise discuss the development of Cacao and Coconut Sugar into premium export products.

Meanwhile, SPRINT Founding Director will share how food entrepreneurs can introduce kaong or sugar palm in the mainstream export market; while UPLB College of Agriculture Dean Domingo Angeles the healthy wonders of the miracle fruit.

 “Aside from helping buyers, these discussions are beneficial to local Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) so they can track the significant advances in the agribusiness and countryside development and see how they can benefit if they implement or adapt to this progress,” said Melito Salazar Jr., president of the MAP-ABCDF.


IFEX Philippines is slated on May 19-21 2017 at the World Trade Center Metro Manila (WTCMM) and at the Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC) in Pasay City. Interested Philippine and international exporters and manufacturers are encouraged to participate in another exciting edition of the biggest food, ingredients, and beverage trade fair in Asia-Pacific.

Interested parties may visit http://www.ifexphilippines.com or contact Ms. Rowena Mendoza at telephone number 831-2336/831-2201 local 257 or e-mail rmendoza@citem.com.ph.

20 PHL food companies net US$48.7M export deals in major US food fair

Bloomberg: Philippine food, one of the hottest trends this year


wffspr1photoPhilippine companies ramp up the negotiations with US trade buyers and visitors during the Winter Fancy Food Show 2017.

The Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions, the export promotion arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-CITEM), surpassed its sales target during its participation in the 42nd Winter Fancy Food Show (WFFS) last 22-24 January in San Francisco, USA.

WFFS is the West Coast’s largest specialty food and beverage event with an estimate of 20,000 annual visitors and 1,500 exhibitors from the US and 28 other countries.

Under FoodPHILIPPINES brand, 20 local companies secured a total of US$ 48.73 million negotiated sales in 463 inquiries from trade buyers. With an initial target of US$ 47 million, the country’s delegation recorded its highest sales in its four years of participation in the WFFS.


wffspr2photoThe country’s largest tuna company, Century Pacific Food, Inc., was one of the top dollar earners under FoodPHILIPPINES.

Among the country’s best-selling items are premium rice and tuna. Recently introduced in WFFS, Philippine corn snacks also garnered positive reception for its crunchier, tastier and bigger servings compared to those in other countries. Other top Philippine products include banana chips, nuts, coconut products, and other tropical fruits.

In the 2016 WFFS, FoodPHILIPPINES’ pavilion reported a total of 540 buyer inquiries and negotiated sales worth US$44 million from 17 local companies.

“As evidenced in its record-breaking sales during the recent WFFS, FoodPHILIPPINES is riding on the momentum as Philippine food is named as one of 2017’s hottest global food trends,” said Rosvi Gaetos, CITEM Executive Director. “The warm reception from trade buyers in North America likewise signifies the Philippines strong resiliency in the US mainstream market.”

For 2017, Food Network predicted that the “pungent, pucker synthesis of East, Spanish, and Pacific Flavors” evident in Philippine food is certain to bring new surprises this 2017, while Bloomberg hails “Filipino food as one of the hottest trends this year,” in its article “Eleven Fancy Food Trends You’ll Face in 2017.”

In the US alone, many Philippine restaurants are gaining popularity traction, such as Washington, DC’s Bad Saint which was No. 2 on Bon Appétit’s annual America’s Best New Restaurant list, and egg sandwich chain Eggslut. Other notable restaurants include Los Angeles-based Rice Bar, Philadelphia’s Perla, and Austin, Texas, restaurant Kuneho.

US is one of the largest foreign investors in the Philippines and the country’s third-largest trading partner. The Philippines has been among the largest beneficiaries of the US’ Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program for developing countries, which provides preferential duty-free access to the U.S. market.

DTI will pursue free trade agreement options with the US in light of the Trump administration’s preference for bilateral agreements instead of regional trade grouping arrangement.

DTI-CITEM is looking to expand the country’s food export as it brings FoodPHILIPPINES this year to some of the world’s largest food fairs including Gulfood in United Arab Emirates (UAE) on 25 February – 2 March; FOODEX in Japan on 7-10 March; Taipei International Food Show in Taiwan on 21-24 June; and ANUGA in Germany on 7-11 October.

It is also cooking up an epic culinary adventure for its 11th edition of IFEX Philippines—the Asia’s largest ethnic food and ingredients show—as one of the culminating events in the 30th ASEAN summit, hosted by the country.

A branding initiative of DTI-CITEM, FoodPHILIPPINES unifies the efforts of the government in promoting the Philippines as a source of quality food products in the global market.

FoodPHILIPPINES’ participation in the WFFS 2017 is organized by CITEM, in partnership with the Philip pine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) in San Francisco and Los Angeles, as one of the DTI’s major efforts to intensify the promotion of Philippine specialty food products in overseas trade shows.

CITEM is committed to developing, nurturing, and promoting globally competitive small and medium enterprises (SMEs), exporters, designers, and manufacturers by implementing an Integrated Approach to Export Marketing in partnership with other government and private entities.

For more information on its services and events, please log on to http://www.citem.gov.ph.




Philippines targets US$28M export sales in Asia-Pacific’s biggest food fair

Philippine tropical fruits take center stage in FOODEX Japan


photo1prFoodPHILIPPINES brings healthy and natural products derived from “power fruits” such as coconuts, bananas, mangoes, and pineapples.

Seventeen local companies take advantage of the Philippines’ developing trade relations with Japan as it showcases the country’s finest tropical flavors in the largest food fair in the Asia-Pacific region.

They will feature the country’s premium tropical products, including banana, coconut, mango, and pineapple, in the 42nd International Food and Beverage Exhibition, popularly known as FOODEX Japan, on 7-10 March in Chiba, Japan.

As a major gateway to the Japanese market, FOODEX welcomes over 3,000 local and international exhibitors, as well as 75,000 buyers from the food manufacturing, service, distribution, and trading sectors this March.

“With the existing Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA), Japan provides an attractive and vast market for Philippine food suppliers to serve the retail, food service, and manufacturing industries,” said Rosvi Gaetos, CITEM Executive Director. “Through this participation, Philippine companies can benchmark and update themselves on the demands and current regulations of the Japanese market.”

For 2017, the FoodPHILIPPINES Pavilion targets at least US$ 28 million export sales in the four-day event, surpassing last year’s US$ 27 million sales record.

The country’s delegation this year will bring various coconut derivatives, banana chips, and other organic fruit purees and fillings. It will also feature soft-serve ice cream and cones, rum, seafood, Peking duck, chicken yakitori, and other meat products.

Participating companies in this edition includes AgriNurture, Inc., AslaxPhils Corporation, Benevelle Corporation, CJ Uniworld Corporation, DLA Naturals, Inc., Bleeding Heart Rum Company, Fruits of Life, Inc., GSL Premium Food Export Corporation, Maharlika Agro-Marine Venture Corporation, Pasciolco Agri Ventures, Prime Fruits International, Inc., Profood International Corporation, Prosource International, Inc., Raw Brown Sugar Milling Company, Inc., c Republic Biscuit Corporation, See’s International Food Mfg. Corporation, Year Luck Food and Industrial Corporation.

Japan is the Philippines’ largest export destination for fresh foods and the second largest market for processed food, next to the United States. In November 2016, the Philippines’ export to Japan records a total revenue of US$ 898.83 million, comprising nearly 20 percent of the country’s global export.

The Philippines is currently the world’s second largest producer of coconut and banana, according to the 2015 data of the Philippine Coconut Authority and the Department of Agriculture. It is also a top global producer of pineapple (3rd), canned tuna (4th), and mango (10th), based on a 2013 data of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

Expanding the Banana Market in Japan

photo2prBanana chips is one of the healthy tropical products available in the FoodPHILIPPINES Pavilion.

Philippine bananas is one of the most highly sought-after tropical fruits in Japan—accounting for nearly 90 percent of the total bananas circulating in the Japanese market.

Ninety percent of bananas in Asia are grown in the Philippines where the industry rakes $1.2 billion annually. Bananas are the second highest-earning agricultural export of the Philippines, next to coconut.

In President Rodrigo Duterte’s state visit last year, Japan pledged US$ 1 billion investment in the Philippines agricultural sector, as well as agreements to import Philippine bananas, pineapples, and avocados.

In particular, Japanese company Farmind Corp. signed an agreement with the Philippine government to import 20 million boxes of Cavendish bananas to Japan every year, generating an estimate of P5 billion annual revenue for local farmers in conflicted areas.

“The Japanese have an intergenerational love affair with Philippine bananas,” said Gaetos. “We plan to introduce a new twist to our ready-to-eat banana chips, of which they show avid fondness.”

Banana chips are slices of bananas that are deep fried, baked, or dehydrated to become crispy. It is then coated with sugar, honey, salt, or spices. Banana chips are increasingly becoming sensational snacks as healthier alternatives to potato chips.

According to Japan’s financial magazine, Toyo Keizai, households of at least two people buy an average of 18 kilograms of bananas a year, well ahead of the No. 2 fruit, mandarins, at 13 kilograms per annum.

However, in 2014, the Japan Business Press reported that fruit consumption, in general, was dropping in Japan because young people do not have the tendency to eat fruit — or, at least, not in their raw form. Consequently, there is an increasing demand on processed fruits sold as confections and beverages, which appeal to younger people.

FoodPHILIPPINES is a branding initiative of the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the export promotion arm of the Philippines’ Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). It unifies the efforts of the government in promoting the Philippines as a source of quality food products in the global market.

FoodPHILIPPINES Pavilion will be located at Booth 5B01 along Hall 5 of the Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan. This participation in the FOODEX Japan 2017 is organized by CITEM, in partnership with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) in Tokyo, as one of the DTI’s major efforts to intensify the promotion of Philippine specialty food products in overseas trade shows.

For more information on its services and events, please log on to http://www.citem.gov.ph.


IFEX 2017 fortifies regional synergy as PH leads 30th ASEAN summit

DTI-CITEM streamlines ASEAN aspirations in Asia’s premier ethnic food and ingredients show


pr2photoDTI-CITEM spotlights a gallery of Asian flavors under its International Hall in the IFEX Philippines 2017.


The Department of Trade and Industry’s Center for International Trade Expositions & Missions (DTI-CITEM) supports the country’s campaign to drive up trade opportunities and inclusive growth in the ASEAN region through the International Food Exhibition (IFEX) Philippines—the biggest and most respected sourcing platform for Asian heritage food and ingredients.

DTI-CITEM cooks up a one-of-a-kind culinary expedition, featuring the historical, geographical and cultural influences behind some of Southeast Asia’s distinct cuisines in the 11th edition of IFEX Philippines on May 19-21 2017 at the World Trade Center Metro Manila (WTCMM) and at the Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC).

With the theme “Taste ASEAN,” IFEX Philippines will showcase the region’s unique tropical fruits, vegetables, fresh and processed seafood, sauces and condiments, and other food products that contribution to a vibrant food scene in global market.

“As partners for change in engaging the world, DTI-CITEM envisions the upcoming IFEX Philippines 2017 as a cuisine compass for international food industry players and market buyers that want to source premium food and ingredients in the Southeast Asian region, particularly in the Philippines,” said Rosvi Gaetos, CITEM Executive Director.

Last January 15, President Rodrigo Duterte officially launched the Philippines’ chairmanship for the upcoming 30th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit on April 30 with the theme “Partnering for Change, Engaging the World.” The summit will converge the heads of state and sectoral leaders from all over Southeast Asia in the Philippines to attend a series of events on trade and policy with the aim of forging relationships between the 10 member-countries of the ASEAN.

Towards that goal, CITEM has tapped the embassies and leading companies from ASEAN countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam, in relation to their participation in IFEX Philippines under its “International Hall.”

Aside from the ASEAN member states, stakeholders, partners and potential exhibitors from China, South Korea, Taiwan, and Turkey also confirmed their participation in the said hall.

At the launch of the ASEAN 2017 Business and Investment Program on 24 January, DTI expressed confidence on ASEAN as an economic powerhouse with the region being third largest market in the world with over 620 million people, the third largest economy in Asia, and the seventh largest economy in the world with a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 2.3 trillion dollars.

It has called on maximizing the opportunities and benefits from the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and reiterated the four pillars of AEC as a landscape for the dialogue with ASEAN partners in realizing the ASEAN 2025, starting with the 23rd AEM Retreat.

AEC’s four pillars are the establishment of a single market and production base, a highly competitive economic region, a region of equitable economic development, and a region fully integrated into the global economy.

In the AEC Blueprint for 2025, ASEAN member states are pushed to put forward programs, events or interventions, such as IFEX Philippines 2017, that strategically develops and promotes ASEAN as an organic food production bases primed to achieve international standards.

The 2025 ASEAN economic roadmap also promotes engaging stakeholders on regional integration efforts, with emphasis on the sharing of best practices and expanding their reach to external markets, and the global value chains.

In 2015, IFEX Philippines recorded a 99.17 percent buyer satisfaction, and 15,000 trade buyers and visitors. During its three-day run, 700 exhibiting companies generated US$162 million worth of onsite deals Out of its total exhibitors, 123 were foreign companies from 20 different countries.

For this year’s edition, CITEM is targeting to have 770 exhibitors (135 foreign) and a total export sales of US$ 118.61 million.

Interested Philippine and international exporters and manufacturers are encouraged to participate in another exciting edition of the biggest food, ingredients, and beverage trade fair in Asia-Pacific.

IFEX Philippines is organized by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the export promotion arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), with support from the Department of Agriculture.

Interested parties may contact Ms. Rowena Mendoza at telephone number 831-2336/831-2201 local 257 or e-mail rmendoza@citem.com.ph, or visit http://www.ifexphilippines.com.

Epicurean adventure awaits global buyers of CITEM’s much-anticipated food show

pr1photoCITEM promises a piquant pilgrimage through ethnic food and ingredients in the IFEX Philippines.

Global buyers are up for an epic culinary expedition at the Philippines’ largest and most respected export sourcing platform for Asian heritage food and ingredients, the International Food Exhibition (IFEX) Philippines, which will happen on 19-21 May 2017 at the adjoining venues of the World Trade Center Metro Manila (WTMM) and the Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC).

Organized by the Center for International Trade Exhibitions and Missions (CITEM) of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), IFEX Philippines 2017 is expected to gather around 770 food and ethnic ingredient manufacturers, exporters, consolidators, artisans, chefs; culinary historians and experts; and gourmet enthusiasts from across the various regions of the Philippine archipelago and several other participating countries, each bringing along distinctive product offerings, knowledge, and skills at the much-awaited gustatory fete.

“IFEX Philippines is the largest and widely anticipated food trade event in the country, formerly held every two years. With the immense global demand for ASEAN and Philippine food, and now Philippine food being counted as among the 2017 hottest trends by Bloomberg and Food Network, CITEM has opted to annually host IFEX Philippines, starting this 2017,” CITEM Executive Director Rosvi C. Gaetos said. “For this coming May, buyers will saunter through a deeper experience and understanding of Philippine food through its multi-faceted origins in history, geography, and culture. It’s going to be one unique and exciting journey for all our visitors.”

IFEX Philippines 2017 will house the FoodPHILIPPINES Hall in the WTCMM where local industry and company pavilions will be situated. Here, buyers will be able to sift through the mainstream, as well as, the latest product offerings from the Philippines’ leading and promising brands.

Also at the WTCMM, buyers will also get to visit the International Hall which will be populated by big companies from several participating countries such as China, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Turkey. Enlisted in the year-long events roster of the ASEAN summit, IFEX will particularly highlight the distinct food products from the ASEAN participating countries—making up an interesting spectrum of this May.

Crossing towards the PTTC side through an intriguing bread tunnel, visitors can sample the unique pandesal innovations from the country’s reputed bakeries and bread artisans, all lining the red-bricked passage to the aptly named, Artisans Village, where one can relish more of the various local flavors and visual treats from the country’s regions. In partnership with the Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA), the IFEX Artisan Village will feature the country’s high-demand export commodities such as seafood, rice and cereals, coffee, cacao, coconut, pineapple, banana, and mango—in many varieties and cultivars.

For those in want of much more inspiration and adventure, IFEX Philippines 2017 also offers food, wine, and beverage tasting; food seminars; as well as retail service at the Market Place where local food brands, fresh agricultural and aquamarine products; healthy, natural, and organic produce are laid out for all eager shoppers and food connoisseurs.

IFEX Philippines will take global trade buyers and visitors in a gastronomic overdrive that will not only satisfy their cravings for distinct Asian flavors, but also their thirst for a dynamic experience of the Philippine food culture, which had evolved from centuries of cross-cultural fusions and regional influences,” said Gaetos.

The 11th IFEX Philippines is slated on May 19-21 2017 at the World Trade Center Metro Manila (WTCMM) and at the Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC) in Pasay City. Interested Philippine and international exporters and manufacturers are encouraged to participate in another exciting edition of the biggest food, ingredients, and beverage trade fair in Asia-Pacific.

Interested parties may contact Ms. Rowena Mendoza at telephone number 831-2336/831-2201 local 257 or e-mail rmendoza@citem.com.ph, or visit http://www.ifexphilippines.com.