Exporters urged to explore online channels following trade show cancellations

THE Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) export promotion arm is encouraging exporters to explore online platforms after trade shows were canceled in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis.

The Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM ) promotes Philippine export goods and services through various events, including overseas trade fairs. CITEM in late March said its events for the first half of 2020 have been canceled.

“Stronger digital synergy is the way forward in these trying times since events have been canceled or postponed across the world. Our exporters, particularly the micro-, small- and medium-enterprises (MSMEs), should tap strategic social media platforms and digital tools to widen their online reach and continue their working relations with their clients and stakeholders,” CITEM Executive Director Pauline Suaco-Juan said in a statement Tuesday.

“Exporters can also take advantage of available webinars on business, logistics and online marketing, among others, on how they can navigate or bounce back from their current situation,” she said.

Ms. Suaco-Juan said CITEM is also collaborating w ith institutions and resource speakers, including creatives and design experts, to promote the Philippines online.

She spoke at Project Ripple PH ’s weekly show on Tuesday, joining business professionals and creatives to discuss “influencer marketing” in the Philippines. She will also be joining an online conversation w ith the Fashion and Design Council of the Philippines, PHx Fashion Conference, and SoFA Design Institute.

The DTI in a statement Monday said agricultural exports entered three new international markets, with maiden shipments of avocados sent in China, cacao products shipped to Belgium, and coconut milk arriving in Russia in March and April.

“COVID-19 may lead to market access issues and non-tariff measures. It maybe more difficult to comply w ith stricter regulations, certifications, external and domestic regulations. The DTIEMB commits to assist exporters, especially MSMEs, to comply w ith these requirements and introduce their products to the world,” DTI Export Marketing Bureau Director Senen M. Perlada said.

He has been encouraging exporters to increase their e-commerce presence, especially during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) im posed on Luzon. — Jenina P. Ibanez


Source: Business World

PH to launch 1st trade show for int’l sustainable solutions and technologies as climate change woes mount

Pinyapel Cup

Cup made from pinyapel. Pinyapel, a paper made from discarded pineapple, is one of the sustainable materials that can be explored to replace traditional plastic cups. It is a result of the materials research and development initiative of the DTI-Design Center of the Philippines in collaboration with Nature’s Fresh, CDO Handmade Paper and Ideatechs Packaging. (Photo by D&AD)

The Philippines is launching a new event that will champion sustainable solutions and technology in a bid to promote sustainable consumption and production in the food industry. The Sustainability Solutions Expo: Food and Beverages (SSX:F&B) is slated on May 21-23, 2020 at the World Trade Center Metro Manila (WTCMM), Pasay City. It is organized by the Department of Trade and Industry, through the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (DTI-CITEM).

“SSX’s first edition will focus on the food industry to enable our local industries to adopt global  practices and technologies that can make their production processes more sustainable and environment-friendly,” said Abdulgani Macatoman, DTI Undersecretary for Trade Promotion Group.

Macatoman said sustainability is becoming a global concern, especially in the Philippines where many industries and communities are experiencing vulnerability on the effects of climate change.

“Efforts are being done to minimize the environmental footprint and waste that goes along food production. National agencies, local government units (LGUs) and businesses are pushing for various greening efforts. The use of new technology to provide clean and sustainable energy is also being practiced by companies in various industries,” noted Macatoman.

“For our part, DTI is strengthening its drive to showcase these efforts to create a business environment in the Philippines that promotes sustainable consumption and production. SSX is one of our major initiatives towards this direction,” he added.

Macatoman also said the event aims to strengthening the value and supply chain linkages of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and other stakeholders in the Philippines in terms of sustainably produced goods and raw materials.

He added that the magnitude of the MSME sector, which makes up around 99.5 percent of the total businesses in the Philippines, will inevitably leave threats to the environment if their products continue to be manufactured and consumed in an unsustainable manner.

Through SSX, DTI-CITEM aims to match MSMEs with international and local technology solutions providers that specialize on sustainable farming, manufacturing, packaging and logistics, food processing, equipment and machineries, refrigeration and cold chain, waste management, recycling and material recovery, plastic alternatives and solutions, and green engineering technology and green packaging.

“With the presence of MSMEs and the technology solution providers, this event serves as a fresh start for the Philippine food industry to scope on where it is now and where it should be going in view of the global efforts to foster sustainable means of consumption and production,” said DTI-CITEM Executive Director Pauline Suaco-Juan.

Stakeholders from the food and allied services sector will also share their green practices and showcase their sustainably sourced products. This includes producers of organic, Natural and Healthy products, Halal-, Kosher-, Fair Trade-certified products, owners of local farm and fresh produce, eco-friendly food products and ingredients and raw materials, and farm-tourism sites.

Climate change, a serious issue for Filipinos

A recent global survey showed that among 28 countries, the Philippines has the highest percentage of people who believe that climate change will greatly affect human lives.

Published in 2019, the survey conducted by YouGov, a British market research and data analytics company, showed that 75 percent of Filipino respondents believe that climate change will leave “a great deal of impact” while 19 percent believe that it will bring “a fair amount of impact” on human beings. The Philippines is beset by an average of 20 typhoons in a year, which may explain why most Filipinos believe that climate change is real and has far-reaching consequences, the report also notes. Flooding during typhoon occurrence is further aggravated by the blockage of garbage in drainages and waterways.

The Philippines is the world’s third-largest source of plastic leaking into the ocean and has among the highest trash collection rates in Southeast Asia based on the 2015 report on plastic pollution by Ocean Conservancy and McKinsey Center for Business and Environment.

About 60 billion sachets and 17.5 billion plastic bags are discarded yearly in the Philippines with less than 20 percent being recycled or reused, according to the United Nations Environment Program report in 2018.

“Adopting eco-friendly packaging options, proper waste disposal and material recovery methods, sustainable energy management and other greening practices would go a long way in combating environmental degradation and minimizing the effect of climate changes,” Macatoman said. “These are just some of the sustainable solutions and technologies that will be highlighted in SSX.”

PH to highlight top products in largest Halal food show in the Middle East

  • The Philippine delegation aims to capture a larger portion of the continuously growing global halal market and capitalize on the significant business potentials of its burgeoning local halal industry.

The Department of Trade and Industry, through the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (DTI-CITEM) and in partnership with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) Dubai, will lead 23 exporters from the Philippines’ food sectors in the 25th edition of the Gulf Food, Hotel and Equipment Exhibition and Salon Culinaire (Gulfood) this 16-20 February 2020 at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), United Arab Emirates.

After raking in $83.2 million in last year’s edition, the Philippine delegation will return this year under the FoodPhilippines brand to showcase a bevy of locally produced food products which include last year’s bestsellers like bananas, coconut products, canned seafood and dried fruits. Located at the Sheikh Rashid Hall of the DWTC, the FoodPhilippines Pavilion will feature local companies, majority of which are halal-certified, with some also having additional relevant certifications like HACCP, USFDA, kosher and organic.

Gulfood is one of the world’s biggest food and hospitality trade shows and a quintessential meeting point for members of the global food industry. The international food trade show welcomes over 100,000 visitors from 200 countries every year and will be celebrating its 25th edition this 2020. Gulfood will launch its landmark anniversary under the theme, “Rethinking Food,” which challenges its visitors and participants to take the same direction with their processes, approaches and executions.

With Gulfood attracting not only buyers from the Gulf countries, but also from all over the Middle East and North African (MENA) region, these certifications are crucial in meeting the demands and capturing a bigger market share of the US$ 3.3-trillion global halal market.

PH top exports (banana & coconut)
Top-performing Philippine exports, bananas and coconuts, will be featured in Gulfood 2020

The Philippine delegation will mostly consist of returning exhibitors such as Century Pacific Food Inc., Mega Global Corporation, Profood International Corporation and Mama Sita’s. These companies will be joined by three Gulfood newcomers namely, Jeverps Manufacturing Corporation, Mofels Food International Corporation and GAINCOCO. This upcoming Philippine participation is all set to showcase the country’s top food exports to buyers from the Gulf states and the MENA region with the help of some on-site demos and samplings. The export food products that will be featured include fresh cavendish bananas, dried fruits, coconut products, mixes and sauces, canned seafoods, noodles, pastries and dairy products.


Promising future

According to DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez, Halal is a good business venture for 2020. Secretary Lopez, who is also the Chair of the Halal Export Development and Promotion Board, said in a recent statement that entrepreneurs should start with a change in mindset and see halal as a lifestyle that can be enjoyed by everyone.

“Halal-certified food products connote positive attributes such as being clean, healthy and pure,” said Lopez. “We encourage more companies to apply for Halal certification because it opens more markets, so more consumers can buy their products.”

There are currently 10 Halal-certifying bodies in the Philippines, but the Trade Secretary is pushing for more certifying bodies to accommodate more applicants and encourage more businesses to tap into the continuously growing Halal industry. With this, Lopez looks at Singapore as a benchmark on how the Philippine halal industry can be grown and improved since Singapore is known to be largely Muslim-friendly and both countries have 10% of their respective populations belonging to the Muslim community.

DTI Undersecretary Abdulgani Macatoman emphasized that the global halal industry is still relatively untapped by Philippine businesses. With the global Muslim populations concentrated in the MENA and Asia-Pacific regions, Macatoman notes that this creates suitable conditions for local micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to make a breakthrough in these regional halal markets. This can be achieved by growing the Philippine halal industry and by participating in relevant trade fairs in the Middle East.

“With the steady growth of Muslim populations worldwide, and consequently the halal market, it is even more important now that the Philippines pushes for improved and expanded halal accreditation among its concerned industries,” Macatoman said. “This is in order to penetrate the market and address the needs of the underserved halal markets locally and worldwide.”

“Having harmonious halal certification processes and accreditation policies and standards for the Philippines is the key to improving the country’s integrity and credibility in both the national and the international communities,” Macatoman added.

Discover what sets Philippine food products apart in the 25th edition of Gulfood at the Dubai World Trade Centre this 16-20 February 2020 as the Philippine delegation continues to strengthen the promotion of Filipino halal products in the Middle East and North African regions.

For more information on the Philippine participation and FoodPhilippines in Gulfood 2020, visit www.citem.com.ph/gulfood.

Filipino craftsmanship to take centerstage in German lifestyle event

  • The Philippine furniture and home décor sectors are strengthening their bid to get a bigger chunk of Germany’s market through the country’s participation in the upcoming Ambiente 2020.
Mushroom lamp with frog accent-01
Mushroom Lamp by Arden


MANILA, Philippines; December 2019 – The country’s creative edge in producing distinctly designed handcrafted products takes centerstage once again as Philippine manufacturers join Ambiente 2020 this coming February 7-11, 2020, at Messe Frankfurt, Germany.

Under the LifestylePhilippines brand, 24-strong furniture and home décor manufacturers that represent some of the artisan regions in the country will highlight handcrafted and consciously-made products that speak of story and purpose.

The participation’s key messaging for this year is “Hands That Work.” This direction presents a celebration of the innate capabilities of Filipinos to create the most design-driven yet functional pieces from natural and sustainable raw supplies and even from old and considered as waste materials. The participation will highlight the artistic and capable hands of local manufacturers that harnessed different material manipulation techniques to create exquisite products globally used and appreciated today.

“We are a country of artisans. Our ancestors, up to our modern lineage, are weavers, sculptors and artists who produce objects that excite the global market. Therefore, we are strongly rallying behind our exporters and helping them promote in the international arena through trade shows like Ambiente,” said Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions Executive Director (CITEM) Pauline Suaco-Juan.


As the export promotion arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), CITEM spearheaded LifestylePhilippines or the collective branding of creative enterprises that represent the best of the Philippines’ home and fashion sectors.

Ambiente is a trade fair recognized as a meeting point for buyers and suppliers from all over the world, and the participation is expected to enable the country to vie for a slice of the design and lifestyle market in Europe. Germany is the biggest trading partner of the Philippines in the European Union and its 11th global trading partner, with a total trade volume of $7.4 billion in 2018.

The contingent features new and long-time exhibitors of Manila FAME, (www.manilafame.com) the country’s foremost design and lifestyle trade show. The Philippine participation in Ambiente is an avenue for Manila FAME to continue to make its mark in the global design scene. Recognized as the home of Filipino artisans, designers and manufacturers, Manila FAME is the Philippines’ premier sourcing destination for high-quality export products. The show serves as the cultivating ground and springboard for innovative, top-of-the-line Philippine products and the gateway for designers to break through key international markets.

“The Philippines has gained significant traction in Ambiente and its pool of buyers as evident in our progressive growth throughout the years. I believe that exciting prospects are ahead of us next year because of our intensified efforts to further widen the country’s reach in the exports landscape especially in the EU” shares Suaco-Juan.

The country’s participation is organized by DTI, through CITEM, and in partnership with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center– Berlin.

To know more about the country’s upcoming participation in Ambiente 2020, please visit http://www.manilafame.com/


DTI-CITEM to launch Sustainable Solutions Expo, PH’s first trade show on global sustainable solutions and technologies

  • Sustainable Solutions Expo will focus on food and beverage in its first edition at the World Trade Center Metro Manila on May 21-23, 2020.

SSX PR 1 Photo.jpg

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), through the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), is organizing a new trade show named the Sustainable Solutions Expo (SSX) that will showcase international sustainable solutions and technologies. Its first edition is set to be launched at the World Trade Center Metro Manila on May 21-23, 2020.

SSX aims to capacitate Philippine micro-, small-, and medium-enterprises (MSMEs) in pursuing more efficient and ecofriendly means of production in line with DTI’s overall thrust towards sustainability, according to CITEM Executive Director Pauline Suaco-Juan.

In its first edition, SSX will focus on the Philippines’ food and beverage industry—highlighting the latest food-related solutions and technologies and championing local food manufacturers and producers that adhere to environmental and economic sustainability.

“SSX: F&B will highlight local and international sustainable solutions and technologies to encourage and capacitate our local MSMEs and other stakeholders in adopting sustainable methods of production and consumption, that are efficient, safe and ecofriendly, across our value chain,” said Suaco-Juan.

Industry players eyed to exhibit will come from the sectors of organic, healthy and natural food; HALAL/Kosher/Fair Trade/Organic certified products; post-harvest handling technologies and facilities; cold chain, refrigeration and storage facilities; green packaging; ingredients and raw materials providers; waste management and recycling; plastic solutions; green engineering technology; certifying bodies and financial institutions; material resource recovery; and transport and logistics.

Meanwhile, invited in SSX’s first edition are food companies, farm cooperatives, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and Local Government Units (LGUs). Also expected to join are the manufacturers, producers, importers and wholesalers, distributors and retailers, venture capitalists, policymakers and regulators, financial institutions, researchers and members of the academe.

“Through the trade event, our MSMEs will gain access to new technologies that they can adopt for more efficient manufacturing, allowing the country to better integrate into the global supply chain. Further, the event will serve as a vehicle to spread awareness on international sustainability initiatives to encourage the public to adapt green consumption and lifestyle,” she added.

Suaco-Juan said CITEM has partnered with the Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and is currently in-talks with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to further bolster the event.

SSX: Food and Beverage in Focus

The Philippines is one of Asia’s largest producers of food as its food and beverages (F&B) sector makes up around half of its manufacturing industry.

Roughly 90 percent of the industry’s output is consumed domestically as of 2016 but as quality and efficiency continue to improve, the Philippines will be able to further export opportunities in the region due to its strategic location and membership in various free trade agreements.

According to Suaco-Juan, to strengthen food exports and ensure sustainable growth, the Philippine government recognizes the need for a more efficient and sustainable means and methods of production.

DTI has identified the need to “encourage and support innovation” under its Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022 and organize “reverse trade fairs for the manufacturing sector” under its Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) 2018-2022 to strengthen value and supply chain linkages and promoting green growth which led to the conception of the SSX: F&B.

“SSX:F&B is also spearheaded to fast track the adoption of sustainable consumption and production in the country and contribute to global efforts in preserving the environment as part of the Philippines’ commitment in the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals, with the United Nations,” said Suaco-Juan.

PH healthy, natural food products head to world’s leading organic food show in Germany

  • Nine PH food producers and manufacturers set to showcase their products at Biofach 2020 in Nuremberg, Germany.
  • CITEM returns to Biofach as it strengthens its promotion of the “organic, healthy and natural” food segment.
Biofach coconut photo.jpg
The Philippines will feature coconut products in Germany.

The Philippines will showcase organic, healthy and natural selections from nine food producers and manufacturers through a country exhibit in the 31st edition of Biofach on February 12-15, 2020, at the Hall 3-A of the Exhibition Centre Nuremberg, Germany.

Biofach is the world’s leading platform for organic food and products with segments ranging across fresh and frozen food, cooking and baking products, snacks and sweets, drinks, food supplements, among others. In 2019, a total of 51,500 visitors and buyers converged. There were 3,273 exhibitor companies from 98 countries, which included 284 exhibitors for Vivaness, the leading trade fair for natural personal care and wellness.

Nine Philippine companies that will showcase their products in Biofach are led by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), through the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), in coordination with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) in Berlin.

“We are kicking off our 2020 export promotion activities for the food industry with a comeback to the world’s leading platform for organic food in line with DTI’s renewed thrust in elevating the country’s globally competitive food products from the organic, healthy and natural segment,” said Abdulgani Macatoman, DTI Undersecretary for the Trade Promotions Group.

CITEM Executive Director Pauline Suaco-Juan said the Philippines first participated in Biofach through CITEM in 1996 resulting in initial orders of coconut oil-based herbal soap and was succeeded in 1999, which garnered an initial order of US$ 80,000.00 mostly for banana chips.

“As CITEM lead next year’s delegation, the FoodPhilippines pavilion will be located in a new area, Hall 3A, which is near to a main entrance and is clustered together with other exhibits from Southeast Asia,” Suaco-Juan said. “Majority of what we will showcase in our return to Biofach are coconut products with six out of our nine companies being coconut producers and manufacturers.”

The Philippines is known as the second largest coconut producing country in the world. In 2017, the total export amounted to 1.51 billion US dollars with Netherlands and US as the top importing countries, according to the International Trade Centre (ITC). Among the coconut products exported include coconut oil (CNO), desiccated coconut (DCN), copra meal and oleo chemicals.

The country is currently the number one supplier of coconut oil to Germany. Philippine exports to Germany generated 2.62 billion US dollars in 2017, more than half of which came from sales of coconut oil.

Under the FoodPhilippines pavilion, visitors will be able to taste a wide range of coconut selection such as virgin coconut oil (VCO), medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) oil, coconut water, coconut sap, vinegar and vinaigrette, coco syrup, sugar and flour, desiccated coconut, coconut cream and coco crisps. Also featured in the pavilion are banana chips, cacao chips and muscovado sugar.

Nine companies that are set to bring organic, healthy and natural goods are the AG Pacific Nutriceuticals Corporation, Brandexports Philippines, Cardinal Agri Products, CJ Uniworld Corporation, Filipinas Organic Coconut Product Corp., Lao Integrated Farms Inc., See’s International, Raw Brown Sugar Milling Co., Inc. and Tongsan Industrial Development Corporation.

Suaco-Juan noted that all organic foods and non-food products that will be exhibited are certified under the European Union (EU) Organic Regulation and passed the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) accreditation guidelines.

Filipino Brands Filip + Inna and Merriam Batara Debut in Premiere Classe Tuileries

Select pieces from Premiere Classe newcomers Filip + Inna (left) and Merriam Batara (right)

MANILA, Philippines; September 2019 – Two local fashion brands, Filip + Inna and Merriam Batara, are set to impress the global market with their uniquely handmade designs at the Premiere Classe trade show which will be held at the iconic Jardin des Tuileries in Paris, France, on September 27 to 30.

This year, there are a total of seven brands—Aranaz, Beatriz, Filip + Inna, Joanique, Mele + Marie, Merriam Batara, and Zacarias 1925—bringing Filipino designs to Premiere Classe. However, both Filip + Inna and Merriam Batara are joining the Tuileries edition for the first time.

The prestigious Premiere Classe fashion and accessories trade fair was previously held twice in September for almost 30 years. Both in Paris, the Porte de Versailles edition, now discontinued, happened in the earlier days of the month, while the Tuileries edition took place later in September during Paris Fashion Week. Because of the latter’s strategic timing and location, countless buyers, magazine editors and online publishers easily visited the event to discover and gain inspiration from new, innovative and high-end fashion and accessory brands from all over the world.

Joining this elite list of exhibitors is jewelry designer Merriam Batara, founder and head designer of her eponymous label, who will put the spotlight on Filipino artistry through her hand-beaded and embroidered accessories. “Showcasing Filipino creativity and craftsmanship in Paris through our handcrafted collection—amongst the best of the best in the world to the most prestigious markets—is a dream for us, and Premiere Classe is the stage to make that all happen,” shared Batara.

Though her boho-luxe tasseled earrings are already a signature of the brand, Batara’s Spring/Summer 2020 collection takes a decidedly fresh turn. Inspired by the flora and fauna of the Philippines, the earrings, cuffs, and other jewelry in this collection are made with a mix of freshwater pearls, gold-dipped shells and metal hardware, gemstones, woven indigenous fabrics, chains and glass beads that all come together through beading, hand-embroidery and wirework.

Filip + Inna’s Lenora Cabili, on the other hand, lives by her mission of preserving and promoting the age-old techniques and garments of the Philippines’ indigenous groups through her clothing line. Her latest collection seamlessly combines indigenous weaves, patterns and traditional garb reimagined through contemporary silhouettes like chic separates and breezy tunics. Embroidery and beadwork techniques from the T’boli, Tagakaolo and B’laan ethnic groups based in Mindanao, where Cabili grew up, are also celebrated through key pieces in the collection.

For Cabili, presenting abroad is more than just the sale of her brand’s products. “Selling our collection to the international market has been a most rewarding experience,” she shared. “The opportunity to show the world a side of the Philippines that not a lot of people know about is an honor and responsibility I am most grateful for. We are defining and creating a visual of the Filipino culture through the garments produced by the indigenous groups.”

Participating in international shows entails a lot for designers with smaller enterprises whose aim is not only to sell their goods but promote the well of artistry the Philippines has to offer as well.

Continued efforts by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), in collaboration with these fashion labels, help to bridge the gap between local brands and the international market.

Support local and visit the booths of Filip + Inna and Merriam Batara at the Premiere Classe Tuileries for a dose of meticulously handmade Filipino fashion and accessories.

For more information on the event, as well as other projects, visit citem.gov.ph.


Local MSMEs gear up for China’s premiere import expo as event countdown continues with less than 50 days to go

  • The China International Import Expo (CIIE) is Chinese President Xi Jinping’s major initiative towards economic openness, globalization and international cooperation.
  • Philippine micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) will be returning to the 2nd CIIE to showcase the country’s top food products.
CIIE - Panda w country flags
CIIE mascot, Jinbao the panda, representing friendship, good fortune and the modern Silk Roads of today.

With the 2nd edition of the China International Import Expo (CIIE) being less than two months away, organizers and exhibitors are now entering the home stretch as they begin final preparations for the upcoming event. CIIE 2019 will open its doors to around 3,000 companies from over 150 countries and regions at the National Exhibition and Convention Center (NECC) in Shanghai, China this 5-10 November 2019.

Currently one of the largest and fastest-developing economies in the world thanks to its large population base, China continues its initiatives for economic openness, globalization and international cooperation through this import-only expo. The enthusiastic response from participants for this year’s edition has already prompted organizers to open the registration for the 3rd CIIE slated for 2020.

This import expo provides an ideal platform for companies and exporters to promote their products, market their brands, sustain business relations and find new trade partners from the second largest economy in the world. According to a recent global economic forecast by Euromonitor, China’s projected economic growth for 2019 through 2021 puts it ahead of the USA in the global economy leaderboard, further augmenting the benefits of potential export deals with the country.

Improved import expo

New categories have been added to this year’s expo, opening up trade opportunities in the industries of autonomous driving technologies and elderly care services. The exhibition area itself has increased from 270,000 to 300,000 square meters to accommodate the number of guests, participants, Fortune 500 companies and events that are all expected to exceed those of last year’s expo.

Of the seven categories under CIIE’s business exhibition, the Philippines will be exhibiting as part of the Food and Agricultural Products sector. The participation, organized by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), is now composed of more than 30 exhibitors set to showcase a wide range of top-notch products and services aimed at China’s fast-growing health and wellness market.

The participating companies from the Philippines’ food and beverage sectors will be exhibiting under the FoodPhilippines banner where they will showcase a wide variety of quality and innovative food products suited for China’s fast-growing health and wellness market.

Except for a few large-scale corporations, the Philippine delegation in the upcoming import expo will mostly be made up of companies from micro- to small-scale enterprises. This is in line with the Philippine government’s push to further strengthen and advance its micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

“CIIE serves as a perfect example of China’s efforts to further open its market to foreign trade, as well as a new trading platform that promotes the advancement of the overall global economy,” said DTI Undersecretary Abdulgani Macatoman. “It provides great opportunities for our MSMEs to grow their businesses beyond their local operations and capture more sectors of China’s developing market as the Philippines continues to strengthen its bilateral relations with China.”

DTI-CITEM, together with its partner agencies, will be focusing on a smaller MSME and business delegation as they continue to develop this year’s participants for export competitiveness in both the Chinese and global markets.

“We are inviting all trade buyers and guests alike to visit the FoodPhilippines area and discover the best food products that the Philippines has to offer and explore lucrative trade opportunities as our exhibitors deliver top-notch products and services from the Philippines’ food and agricultural industries,” added DTI-CITEM Executive Director Pauline Suaco-Juan.

This participation organized by DTI-CITEM in partnership with the Department of Agriculture (DA), the Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) and the Philippine Trade and Investment Centers (PTIC) in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou.

Exporters from the food and agricultural sectors interested in joining this year’s CIIE may contact Peter Tapang, Project Officer, via email at pjtapang@citem.com.ph.


43 PH firms seek to expand exports in China, Southeast Asia at CAEXPO 2019

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Coconut products are included in the products to be exhibited under the Philippine Commodity Pavilion in the upcoming CAEXPO 2019.

The Philippines will be represented by 43-strong exporters and manufacturers as they seek to expand their market reach in China and neighboring Southeast Asian countries in the 16th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) on September 20-23.

Led by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), through the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the national delegation will exhibit the country’s premier export products and services in the food, health and wellness, lifestyle and tourism sectors under the Philippines’ Commodity Pavilion located at the Exhibition Zone D along Hall 12.

“Last year’s bestsellers include coconut products and tropical fruit snacks. Both product lines will be returning to the trade floor this year accompanied by a slew of healthy and innovative food products, such as organic food supplements and organic packaged foods and beverages,” said DTI-CITEM Executive Director Pauline Suaco-Juan.

CAEXPO is one of the biggest trade events in China with a 124,000-square meter exhibition space—the only international trade fair in the region dedicated to promoting the building of China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (CAFTA) and celebrating regional trade cooperation.

In 2018, the four-day event was participated in by more than 2,700 exhibitors and 96,000 buyers and visitors all over the world. The Philippine delegation last year was able to book 22 million US dollars during the four-day event in the Commodity Pavilion.

“As we continue to further our efforts to improve trade relations with China, the ASEAN nations and the rest of the global market, the Philippine government shall, to the best of its abilities, commit to maintaining a conducive environment that allows businesses to thrive in moving towards a more streamlined global trade network,” according to DTI Undersecretary for the Trade Promotions Group (TPG) Abdulgani Macatoman.

Food and wellness Philippine companies participating in CAEXPO include Ahya Coco Organic Food Manufacturing Corp., Audrey’s Confectioneries, Bea’s Homemade Peanut Butter, Benevelle Corporation, CKL Corporation, Elynne’s Pasalubong  Products, Eng Seng Food Products, EPL Cacao Products, Fruits of Life, Gees Agri Coco Products, Great Harvest Food Industries, Greenlife Coconut Products Philippines, Inc., Green Tropics Coffee Enterprise, Happi Tummy Foodstuff, Inc., JNRM Corporation, KLT Fruits, Inc., LTH Food Industries, Inc., Marikina Food Corporation, MS3 Agri-Ventures Corp., Phil. Morinda Citrifolia, Inc., Potter’s Hand Processed Food, Sangkutsa Food Products, Seabest Food Beverage Corp., Super Q, Tatlong Hari Agri Trade Corporation, Team Asia Corporation, Trans Ocean Food Products, Inc., Universal Canning, Inc., Year Luck Food and Industrial Corp.

From the lifestyle sector are Ai-She Footwear, Benelco Arts and Crafts, Cut N Shape Crafts Manufacturing, Jacildo’s Handicraft, JCS Beatus Trading, Inc., Jer Shell’s Craft Creations Int’l, Jhaz Footwear, Kit Silver Jewellery, Maddela Flowers and Crafts and Yamang Atin Enterprises.

Health and wellness companies include EXP Life and Herbs Nutraceuticals and Jegen S.W.E; while education firms include Enterprises Ahead Tutorial and Review Centers Learnup, Inc., Gold Berry Suits and Hotels from the tourism sector.

Aside from the companies, DTI-CITEM will also highlight the trade, investment and tourism sectors of General Santos City, as well as some of the country’s developing economic zones in coordination with the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) and Board of Investments (BOI), as well as relevant investment promotion agencies (IPAs).

Participating IPAs comprise of the Bureau of Investments (BOI), Clark Development Corporation (CDC), Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA), Mt. Samat Flagship Tourism Enterprise Zone (FTEZ), Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA), Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and Tourism Infrastructure and Economic Zone Authority (TIEZA).

“We welcome CAEXPO visitors to explore the best products that our hospitable Filipino exhibitors have to offer, and we encourage you to visit our City of Charm Pavilion located at the National Pavilion: Hall B2, along Exhibition Zone B, as we continue to move forward together as one ASEAN in forging stronger ties amongst ourselves and the nation of China,” Macatoman said.

The Philippine participation in CAEXPO is led by DTI-CITEM in partnership with the Local Government of General Santos City, Philippine Trade and Investment Centers (PTIC) in Guangzhou, Beijing and Shanghai, DTI – Export Marketing Bureau (EMB), DTI – Region XI, Foreign Trade Service Corps. (FTSC), Board of Investments (BOI), the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) and other investment promotion agencies (IPAs).


Filipina Designers Head to Paris for the Premiere Classe Trade Show

Seven Philippine brands will showcase their unique designs and materials at Premiere Classe Paris with the mission of elevating Filipino craftsmanship.  

MANILA, Philippines; September 2019 – Philippine fashion takes the world stage once again at this year’s edition of Premiere Classe, Paris Fashion Week’s foremost accessories trade show. Happening from September 27 to 30, the Philippines will be represented by seven brands that showcase uniquely Filipino designs and materials.

Dedicated to high-end fashion accessories, the Premiere Classe trade show has become a springboard for many designers to showcase their creations to a global audience. And for the Philippine participating labels—Aranaz, Beatriz, Filip+Inna, Joanique, Mele + Marie, Merriam Batara, and Zacarias 1925—the event is not only a great opportunity to gain business opportunities abroad, it is also a venue to showcase Philippine culture and local craftsmanship.

At the helm of these fashion brands are ultra-talented, creative, and business-savvy women who lead their brands with the mission of elevating Filipino craftsmanship.

Mother-daughters Becky, Amina, and Rosanna Aranaz launched their eponymous handbag label in 1999, but the roots of the business began in the ’80s with mom Becky’s manufacturing and export bag business. After a few years of doing the bazaar rounds in Manila, the positive response from local buyers inspired the trio to officially launch Aranaz and even push the brand internationally. Since then, the Aranaz women have taken on various roles in designing, growing, and promoting Aranaz’s handmade and slow manufacturing processes that produce beautifully artisanal handbags.

Unlike Aranaz’s more feminine leanings, Rita Nazareno’s Zacarias 1925 features bags with unconventional concepts that constantly challenge the traditional lines of her family’s heritage brand, S.C. Vizcarra.

An Emmy-award winning former TV producer in the U.S., Nazareno returned to the Philippines to help out with the family business that initially started as an embroidery atelier under her grandmother, Segundina Vizcarra, and later a fine crafts business lead by her mother Vicky Amalingan-Sales. When Nazareno came on board, she infused fresh ideas into S.C. Vizcarra’s classic weaving techniques, and took even bolder steps with Zacarias 1925, whose handbags are the perfect blend of S.C. Vizcarra’s handcrafted legacy and progressive designs.

Fashion designer Lenora Cabili’s Filip + Inna is a true love letter to Philippine culture expressed through fashion. Growing up in Iligan City in Mindanao, Cabili was always surrounded and captivated by the vibrant garments of the local indigenous groups residing in the region. Inspired by the rich, diverse culture in the country, Cabili started Filip + Inna, apparel that spoke to the modern-day woman, but also celebrated the traditions of our culture through the work of artisans that keep the antique craft of weaving, embroidery, and beading alive.

With her background in modeling and interior design, Joanique’s Malou Romero was constantly exposed to beautifully-designed pieces. For her own line of bags and jewelry, however, she wanted to keep the spotlight on the Philippines’ colorful history and culture. Constantly referencing centuries-old art and even local festivals, Romero works in collaboration with local artisans that hand-carve cultural images onto her solid-wood bags.

Carissa Cruz Evangelista’s Beatriz was born out of a love for fashion, but is sustained by her experience working with community-based enterprises during her time with the Department of Trade and Industry. Evangelista continues to empower disadvantaged communities through her Beatriz accessories line by teaching them the craft of applying thread patterns onto clutches and hand cuffs that produce vibrant and eye-catching results.

Rosemarie Oamil, co-founder and female force behind Mele + Marie, owes their success to their hard work and unwavering faith. Together with her husband and the brand’s chief designer, Melecio Oamil, Mele + Marie’s unique designs are constantly inspired by their humble beginnings, family experiences, trials and triumphs. Rosemarie grew up in the farming fields of Nueva Ecija and worked her way up slowly, partnering with her husband in their initial exporting business. In 2012, they decided to create their own label, Mele + Marie, featuring handmade bags and accessories made with unique materials like abalone shells and hand-welded metal.

Jewelry designer Merriam Batara, who hails from a family of jewelry makers from Bulacan, practiced her craft with scraps and excess beads from her family’s workshop. Partnering with a friend from college, Batara’s early work consisted of wired butterfly jewelry pieces that she sold at local bazaars. The self-taught artisan improved her designs further with more sophisticated details and eye-catching materials, specializing in hand-beading and embroidery in her one-of-a-kind earrings, necklaces, and fashion accessories.

This year’s group of Premiere Classe participants, organized by the Department of Trade and Industry’s Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (DTI-CITEM), proudly represents the Philippines, as well as the talent and perseverance of the Filipina woman. Discover their stories and what Filipino artisanship can offer the rest of the world, through their designs at the Premiere Classe fashion event in Paris.

For more information on the event, as well as other projects, visit citem.gov.ph.