PH SME chocolate makes its sweet debut in London
Published: 02 November 2016
Philippine chocolate brand Risa Chocolate recently joined the The Chocolate Show London held at Olympia National Hall in Kensington. According to Philippine Department of Trade and Industry’s Philippine Trade and Investment Center – London, for many years, Risa’s participation is another first for a Philippine SME to participate in one of the United Kingdom’s biggest chocolate trade shows.
DTI noted that Risa Chocolate was the only exhibitor from the Philippines that made a sweet debut with other popular fine chocolate British brands like Hotel Chocolat, Rococo Chocolates and Paul A Young.
Risa Chocolate is co-owned by Filipino couple Pam and Lawrence Cinco. Pam has explored the local cacao bean production and was inspired in her pursuit to make fine chocolates. "Risa Chocolate is made in the Philippines where our unique terroir blends with single origin cacao beans, excellent craftsmanship, and a lot of passion,” according to the company.
Their products are single-origin chocolates made from cacao beans, which are sourced from the Philippine provinces of Bicol and South Cotabato. According to Cinco, the finished chocolate bars do not contain soy lecithin, letting the cacao beans taste even better as they age.
The Philippine SME also created ‘The Pilitas’ range, which are made of native Pili nuts – a local Philippine snack – covered in chocolate.
Philippine Ambassador to the United Kingdom Evan Garcia visited the Risa Chocolate booth at the chocolate show alongside Commercial Attaché and Philippine Trade and Investment Centre London Head Kristine Umali to show support and encourage show visitors to try samples.
“I am proud that Philippine SMEs and brands are starting to breach the global market and show that Philippine cacaos as well as our fine chocolates are truly world class,” said Commercial Attaché Umali.
DTI noted that with the strengthened programs of the department in enabling micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to access new markets, it hopes to increase the number of MSMEs that participate in international trade fairs.
DTI: Improving PH competitiveness a must
UK helps PH cut red tapes through a P1.1M-worth program
Published: 05 October 2016
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez emphasized the relevance of improving the country’s competitiveness, during the ceremonial contract signing on 4 October between the Philippines and the United Kingdom (UK) on a project that aims to provide technical assistance to reduce red tape in the business environment.
Timely and relevant, the UK through the Asia Pacific Bilateral Programme Fund granted technical assistance to the National Competitiveness Council of the Philippines (NCC) to support the Project Repeal, an initiative inspired by the UK’s Red Tape Challenge, which addresses growing need to cut red tape across the bureaucracy.
“Project Repeal, an initiative geared towards eliminating red tape by systematically removing redundant, antiquated and burdensome policies in government agencies shall facilitate us in achieving this end,” Sec. Lopez said.
The trade chief also said that the UK’s assistance, which amounts to £17,969 (approximately PhP 1.1 million) that will run until January 2017, shall capacitate Project Repeal in terms of development, pilot-testing and initial roll-out of the Standard Cost Model.
The Standard Cost Model will provide a statistically valid and reliable method in estimating the regulatory burden imposed by existing regulations on businesses.
The assistance will also be used to conduct a series of activities, including supplementary focus group discussions that will be held in several regions in the country to have a wider stakeholder engagement and ensure the project’s greater impact, according to NCC.
Based on the Global Competitiveness Survey done before the May 9 election, the Philippines slipped 10 notches to 57th place, from 47th place. The trade chief reiterated President Rodrigo Duterte’s marching orders to improve competitiveness and the ease of doing business by reducing the processing time for business licensing and permit system.
Joining Sec. Lopez in the ceremonial signing were UK Ambassador to the Philippines Asif Ahmad, DTI Assistant Secretary Arturo Boncato and Private Sector Chairman of the NCC Guillermo Luz.