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Exporters and would-be exporters, along with participants coming from different sectors, attended the seminars to learn more about the preferential tariff treatments enjoyed by the Philippines. There were also discussions on the export opportunities and consumer trends in the European Union, the United States, Canada and other FTA trading partners of the Philippines.

The Caraga region boasts of a variety of products comprised of agricultural crops, like bananas, coconuts and cacao; marine products, such as tuna, prawns and crabs; and forest products, like hemp (abaca), furniture, rubber, gold and mineral ores. Locals were particularly interested in exploring means to add value to their products by improving their labeling and packaging and having enough access to modern facilities and technology.

The speakers encouraged the participants to maximize their resources and explore ways to preserve perishable products through canning, salting, drying or dehydrating, fermenting and oil extraction. They were advised to take advantage of the DTI’s available shared-service facilities (SSFs) nationwide, which provide machinery, equipment, tools, systems, skills and knowledge to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) under a shared system.

Participants were also urged to know their target markets. Market trends worldwide now include health and wellness, uniqueness and individualism, and convenience. Keeping in mind these trends and experimenting around native products will work a lot to benefit exporters and would-be exporters.

The speakers for the DBFTA sessions were Suraida U. Guro, assistant chief from the EMB; Justinne Marie D. Santos and Rudolph Jay D. Velasco, Trade and Industry development specialists from the EMB. □

Justinne Marie D. Santos, Trade and Industry development specialist, Export Marketing Bureau, Department of Trade and Industry



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