Year 12 | 21 January 2020 | TO ENTER | TO REGISTER

Philippines food market attracts exhibitors from 8 countries

Marketing agents from eight countries are bringing their exhibitors to the Philippines for an international expo highlighting both intra-Asian and Asia-based inter-regional food trade on a massive global scale.

The initial list of countries with marketing agents that have pledged support to the International Food Expo (IFEX) Philippines includes BIMP-EAGA nations (a regional trade initiative among Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines)
through the BIMP-EAGA Business Council and the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers; Taiwan through the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA); Japan; Korea; Singapore; Sri Lanka; and Thailand - according to export promotion authority Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), an attached agency of the Department of Trade and Industry.

CITEM Executive Director Rosvi C. Gaetos said the eight countries were among the many others from Asia and the rest of the world participating in IFEX Philippines next year.

“They are being lured by the many trade and investment attractions of the Philippines, which is recognized as one of the most promising ingredients markets in the Southeast Asian region,” Gaetos said.

Home to large indigenous food conglomerates, the Philippines has a domestic market of 100 million consumers, 64 percent of whom are one to 29 years old with increasing consumption needs and mostly with a taste for new products, making eating out account for 12 percent of the food budget from only nine percent in the mid-1990s and the culinary industry dominated by popular food chains becoming an attraction to a booming tourism while branching out overseas.

“Moreover, food processing accounts for 40 percent of total manufacturing and 20 percent of GDP (gross domestic product), and gets its ingredients from the 60 percent of the total $4.5 billion in food imports,” Gaetos pointed out.

The Philippines is a member of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Free Trade Area (AFTA) and has also entered into and currently negotiating a series of bilateral and regional free trade agreements with other neighboring countries like China, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.

“That means investing in or doing trade with the Philippines amounts to gaining access to an even larger regional market, with strong links to the rest of the world,” Gaetos added.

She cited as proof the country’s emerging role as a regional staging area for foreign food
manufacturers seeking access to the lucrative East and Southeast Asian markets for processed products.

“That’s because of the ability of the country’s English-speaking workforce to manufacture high-quality, niche-market, and high-value products using both domestic and duty-free imported raw materials,” Gaetos explained.

She cited these factors as an opportunity for the country’s small and medium enterprises involved in food production, processing and manufacturing to get into the thick of the action by joining IFEX Philippines.

The event is CITEM’s medium for assisting the mainstream food industry in product
development and export marketing. CITEM also offers a promotional 10 percent discount to local exhibitors registering from July 16 to 31.

by S. C.
19 july 2012, World News > Asia