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DTI promotes franchising in LA
Los Angeles Consul General Adelio Angelito S. Cruz (2nd row; 9th from left), Philippine Franchise Association (PFA) Vice Chairman Bing Sibal-Limjoco (1st row; 5th from left), PFA Executive Director Chit Estrada (2nd row; leftmost), Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC)-Los Angeles Trade Commissioner Celynne Layug (1st row; 3rd from left), and members of the Filipino community in Los Angeles.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), through the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC)- Los Angles, conducted a Franchising Seminar on 16 November 2017 with the Philippine Franchise Association (PFA) and the Philippine Consulate General – Los Angeles. The event was attended by 40 participants composed of Fil-Am community, businessmen, and media.

Ms. Bing Sibal-Limjoco, Vice-Chairman of PFA and CEO of Francorp Philippines gave an overview of Philippine franchising and discussed the trends, opportunities, and advantages of franchising.

Franchising is one of the platforms for fostering the culture of entrepreneurship in the Philippines and one of the ways to support MSME policy. The PFA has seen the benefits of offering franchising as a strategy to grow one's business and for those interested in doing business through franchising. It is notable that Philippine brands have likewise established their operations in foreign markets such as the US. Apart from prominent Philippine franchise brands, franchise startups such as Belgian Waffle have started to penetrate the US market with its first franchise store opening in San Diego, California, USA.

DTI US coconut roadshow delegation
Philippine delegation for the 2017 Philippine Coconut Roadshow to the United States.

The Department of Trade and Industry through its Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) and Philippine Trade and Investment Centers (PTICs) in the United States recently concluded the 2017 Philippine Coconut Roadshow held from 6 to 24 September 2017 in key cities including Los Angeles, Colorado, San Francisco, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.

“We see the increasing healthy, non-GMO, and gluten- free lifestyle of the American market as a window of opportunity for our exporters to promote their products as well as showcase the Philippines as an ideal source for coconut-based products,” said DTI Trade and Investments Promotion Group Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado.

DTI supported 17 Philippine exporters enrolled in its Regional Interactive Platform for Philippine Exporters Plus (RIPPLES) program to extensively promote coconut oil and coconut-based products, including food, cosmetics, and personal care items to the huge US market.

Together with key officials from the United Coconut Association of the Philippines (UCAP) and Virgin Coconut Oil Philippines (VCOP), the Philippine Trade and Investment Centers in the United States (Washington, D.C. and San Francisco) assisted and organized business meetings between American and Philippine companies for potential partnerships that seek to enhance and expand exports of Philippine coconut-based products to the United States. The group also met with US doctors and scientists that have in-depth knowledge on the benefits of coconut oil.

The group participated in the 50th ASEAN Anniversary Forum organized by the ASEAN Trade Commissioners in partnership with the Port of Los Angeles. The meetings with leading importers and retail chains in Los Angeles and San Francisco generated market leads and market access platforms for the participants.

For the Washington, D.C. leg, the Philippine Companies met with the US Department of Agriculture, the Organic Trade Association, the US–Philippines Society, Foodshowcase, the USA Halal Chamber of Commerce, and Registrar Corporation.

Participating exporters and Philippine officials were also briefed on the US Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) Program, including identifying coconut products that could benefit from GSP treatment. Meetings held in Washington, D.C. highlighted the importance of trade policy issues when exporting to the United States, including compliance to US food safety regulations, labelling, and other non-tariff measures.

From 14 to 16 September, the delegation held a dialogue with several US companies during the Natural Product Expo East held in Baltimore, Maryland, considered as the East Coast’s leading trade show in the natural, organic, and healthy products industry. The delegation had a chance to exchange views on how to further promote and increase awareness to American consumers on the health benefits of coconut oil.

Participating companies include Amazing Foods Corp, Chemrez Technologies, Inc., Coco Plus, Coco Veda, Coconut Cures, Dignity, Eau de Coco, Franklin Baker Company of the Philippines, Galo Organic and Naturals, Greenlife Coconut Products Philippines, Inc., Hancole Corp., Marinduque Land Corporation, Pasciolco Agri Ventures, Nuco/ProSource International, Inc., Wellness Care International Inc., and Tongsan Industrial Development Corporation.

DTI’s Coconut Roadshow to the United States is in partnership with the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), an agency committed to promote the growth of the coconut industry.♦

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