A delegation of top food companies from Shanghai, China and its surrounding cities seek to source food products and ingredients from the Philippines in the upcoming 13th edition of IFEX Philippines: NXTFOOD ASIA on May 24, 2019, at the World Trade Center Metro Manila (WTCMM).
This Chinese buyer delegation will represent 12 companies from the seafood, snacks, cold chain and agricultural products sectors. They were given the “Very Important Buyer” (VIB) status by the Department of Trade and Industry through the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (DTI-CITEM).
“One company is seeking to increase banana orders from 120 to 300 containers per week while another is looking to find sources for snacks, fruit chips, nuts and other new and exciting food that they can carry in more than 2,700 outlets across China,” said Vice Consul Mario Tani from the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC-Shanghai) and in-charge of bringing the delegation.
Organized by DTI-CITEM, IFEX Philippines is the biggest export-oriented food fair in the Philippines with more than 2,000 buyers and over 800 exhibitors participating this year.
Presenting “NXTFOOD ASIA,” this edition will host a grand showcase of the innovations and culinary techniques behind the country’s top agricultural export products with a focus on the Premium 7.
Selected Chinese representatives will also hold a forum and panel discussions titled, “How to Launch Your Food Brand Successfully in the China Market” and “Key Food Trends in China,” to help food companies in the Philippines enter the Chinese market. These talks will be held from 2PM to 6PM on May 24 at the Hidalgo Room of the WTCCM.
“During this activity, there will also be ample time provided for business meetings and matching with the participating Chinese companies,” noted Vice Consul Tani.
China is the Philippines’ largest trading partner with bilateral trade amounting to 55.7 billion US dollars in 2018. Total agricultural exports to China from the Philippines increased by 62% in 2018 to 678.6 million US dollars, with products such as Cavendish bananas, pineapples, papaya and mango as top contributors.
Other food-related industries, such as the snack industry in China, are showing robust growth with forecasts of a 444 billion US dollars valuation by 2020 to serve the growing needs of the Chinese population, which is projected to grow to 1.42 billion by the end of 2019.
According to Vice Consul Tani, there are still a lot of products that China can source from the Philippines. These include fresh and processed seafood, individually quick-frozen (IQF) fruits, coconut-related products, avocado, durian, mangosteen, sauces and various condiments, among others.
“IFEX is a great platform to showcase the best of what the Philippines can offer and help push for more exports of bananas and other food and agricultural related products, which is also one of the DTI’s key initiatives,” he added.
China’s food imports have quadrupled over the last decade and China aims to import US $5 trillion worth of products and services in the next 5 years.
With its growing economy and consistent increase in consumption trends, there is enormous potential for suppliers from the Philippines to benefit from China’s market and increase their footprint as well as their revenues.