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06 May 2019

Published also in Business Mirror

THE Philippines has secured a commitment from the United Kingdom on having the same level of market access to UK post-Brexit, under any scenario, including a no-deal Brexit, Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said.

This level will be similar to the preferential market access the Philippines currently enjoys under the European Union Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (EU GSP+).

Overall, Lopez said, any post-Brexit scenario should not have a significant effect on the Philippines. In a statement, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said this commitment downplays the study from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development released this month that the Philippines would be the 12th trading partner to be most affected in a post-Brexit scenario, as the study did not consider ongoing bilateral talks between the Philippines and the UK.

For the past two months, the DTI said, the Philippines has engaged the UK in three high-level dialogues. These are the first meeting with UK Prime Minister’s trade envoy Richard Graham on February 20; the first-ever PH-UK Economic Dialogue held on March 21; and a meeting with UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office chief economist Richard Salt on March 22.

In all of these engagements, the UK assured the country’s representatives about the continuation of the Philippines’s GSP+ level market access to the UK post-Brexit, the DTI noted.

Moreover, the UK emphasized that the Philippines is one of its important trading partners in Asia, as evidenced by the Philippine visit of Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Asia Pacific Natalie Black in October 2018.

“The Philippines has taken a more proactive stance in its promotion as an investment destination for UK companies during the London Investor’s Roadshow in September 2018. These series of high-level exchanges and visits signal the Philippines’s close engagement with UK on improving bilateral economic relations as UK exits the EU,” Lopez stated.

The UK accounts for less than 10 percent of total Philippine exports to the EU, with almost 11 percent of Philippine exports to the EU under the GSP+ going to the UK, and 35 percent of total Philippine exports to the UK for 2017 being made under GSP+.

“The retention of the Philippines’s GSP+ level preferential market access to the UK is a huge assurance for Philippine exporters. For products that are not covered by the GSP+, Most Favored Nation [MFN] rates will apply. On this front, the Philippines is also actively engaged in negotiations in the World Trade Organization for the final MFN bound rates that the UK will apply after Brexit to ensure that products of interest for the Philippines will not be prejudiced by any changes,” the trade chief said.

 

By Kalene Ann M. Ebora | Food and Agri-Marine Division | DTI-Export Marketing Bureau

06 May 2019

Published also in Business Mirror

Filipino exporters introduce Philippine seafood products to buyers and visitors during the Seoul International Seafood Show 2019 held from April 22 to 24, 2019, at Coex, Seoul, South Korea.

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) organized the Philippines’s participation to the Seoul International Seafood Show 2019 held from April 22 to 24, 2019, at Coex, Seoul, South Korea.

Helping organize the country’s participation to the event were the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC)-Seoul, the DTI’s Export Marketing Bureau (EMB), and the ASEAN-Korea Center.

ASEAN Ambassadors and dignitaries from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam graced the ASEAN Pavilion. Philippine Ambassador Raul Hernandez and Commercial Counselor Jose Ma. Dinsay represented the Philippine delegation during the opening.

A variety of Philippine seafood products from nine companies were promoted during the show, including fresh chilled tuna; fresh frozen octopus, shrimp, milkfish; dried fish; canned sardines, crab meat; bottled milkfish, sardines; and traditional Filipino sauce condiments, such as shrimp paste, shrimp fry, bagoong and fish sauce, among other products.

The show served as a venue to foster the Philippines as a reliable supplier of high-quality seafood products and introduce the country’s seafood-based sauces and condiments to the Korean market.

To take advantage of the Philippines’s existing free-trade agreements, the participants also attended Korea Customs Service’s Seminar on Asean-Korea Free Trade Agreement and Customs Clearance Procedures at the sidelines of the show.

The Philippines’s successful participation to the Seoul International Seafood Show 2019 generated trade leads for the exhibitors which even exceeded its target sales by more than 100 percent.

The DTI-EMB and Foreign Trade Service Corps (FTSC) expressed gratitude to the ASEAN-Korea Center for giving the Philippine exporters the opportunity to showcase Filipino seafood products at the Seoul International Seafood Show 2019.

“As the Philippines continues to take part in trade opportunities to increase trade relations with South Korea, the Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau would like to express its gratitude to the ASEAN-Korea Center for this initiative and collaboration in giving the Philippine exporters the opportunity to showcase and promote Philippine seafood products at the Seoul International Seafood Show 2019,” DTI-EMB Assistant Director Anthony B. Rivera said.

In 2018, the Philippines exported $23.51 million worth of seafood products to Korea.

29 April 2019

Published also in Business Mirror

EIGHT companies under the Regional Interactive Platform for Philippine Exporters (RIPPLES) Plus Program are exhibiting their products at the 69th Manila FAME from April 25 to 27, 2019, at the World Trade Center (WTC) Metro Manila in Pasay City. The Ripples Plus Pavilion measures 72 square meters of curated space with defined company display areas.

The program is jointly implemented by the Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB) with the DTI-Regional Operations Group (ROG) together with other Trade Promotions Group (TPG) Agencies/Bureaus composed of the Bureau of Domestic Trade Promotion (BDTP), Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), Design Center of the Philippines (DCP) and the Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC).  

It intends to expand the supply base of internationally competitive Philippine export products and services and to provide intensified, purposive and practical assistance geared toward the internationalization of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and expand the global export market opportunities for large corporations.

The Ripples Plus Program aims to support SMEs and has worked on increasing the number of internationally competitive local products and services exporters with EMB at the helm. There are two modes of interventions to ensure the companies are competent and export-ready under the Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP). These are: Mode 1) Global Export Advance Resource (One-on-One Consultations, Focus Group Discussions, Technical Working Group, E-commerce, Client Servicing, Mutual Recognition Agreements, Trade Facilitation, Policy Advocacy and Product Development); and Mode 2) Strategic Marketing and Promotions (Inbound and Outbound Business Matching Missions, Branding and Mainstreaming).

Joining this April Edition are: Beyond Borders, C & C (Chlio & Co.), Gifts and Graces Fair Trade Foundation Inc., Hubog Craft Philippines Co. Ltd., Kayvaluganan Handicraft Makers Association, Pumiceunlimited Ventures, RC Woodworks, and Silya Home Furnishings. The exhibitors are based in Metro Manila, Regions 2, 3 and 4A. These are manufacturers of housewares and furnishings.

Manila FAME is the country’s premier design and lifestyle event organized by the DTI through the CITEM. It is the second-longest running trade show in Asia-Pacific and is the only trade event in the country approved by Union des Foires Internationales (UFI), or the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, a Paris-based association of trade fair organizers.

It promotes the Philippines as a reliable sourcing destination for high-quality and design-oriented home, fashion, holiday, architectural and interior products. It supports local small- and medium-scale enterprises and artisan communities by working with local designers to create new product collections and providing a professionally managed platform to present export products to the global market.

As part of the show, CITEM also conducted product-development activities through its “Design for Export Program” (DEP) for all Ripples Plus exhibitors. EMB and CITEM aim to put the exhibitors-enrollee’s experience at the heart of new innovations through DEP of CITEM, purposely for exhibitors to adjust to new market trends and requirements and expand market access.

CITEM’s efforts to increase the global competitiveness of the country’s gifts, décor  and houseware sector are in line with the government’s latest target—to grow the sector by 20 percent in the next five years. The Board of Investments identified more than 2,400 handicraft enterprises in the Philippines. The majority of those are MSMEs located in the NCR, Cordillera Region, Region 5 and Region 12.

“We are going to highlight the best of Manila FAME products featured over the years through the Design Commune special setting. As part of our product-development program, these products will be reimagined to reflect contemporary design concepts,” said Pauline Suaco-Juan, executive director of the CITEM.

29 April 2019

Published also in Business Mirror

Staff and officials of the Department of Trade and Industry-Export Management Bureau (DTI-EMB), discuss with the Bangladesh-Philippines Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BPCCI) a foreign-proposed business mission to Bangladesh. Joining the discussion are (from left): DTI Foreign Trade Service Corps (FTSC) Trade-Investment Development Specialist (TIDS) April Micah Esteron; DTI-EMB TIDS Golda KristyTabid-Grospe; DTI-EMB Division Chief Rafaelita C. Castro; Philippine Ambassador to Bangladesh Vicente Vivencio T. Bandillo; BPCCI President Akber Hakim; and BPCCI Vice President Shams Mahmud.

 

IN an effort to strengthen the economic ties between the Philippines and Bangladesh, Philippine Ambassador to Bangladesh Vicente Vivencio T. Bandillo and key officials of the Bangladesh-Philippines Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BPCCI), President Akber Hakim and Vice President Shams Mahmud, paid a courtesy visit to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on April 5, 2019.

Part of the visit was a meeting with the DTI Export Marketing Bureau (EMB), together with the DTI-Foreign Trade Service Corps (FTSC), to discuss the conduct of an Outbound Business Matching Mission (OBMM) to Dhaka in September 2019. The mission is primarily aimed at exploring Bangladesh further as a market for Philippine exports.

Products from the Philippines currently have limited exposure in Bangladesh, yet they carry great potential in addressing the lack of variety in the said South Asian market, especially when it comes to processed foods, cosmetics and other personal-care items. Food products, particularly canned meat and fish, are mostly imported from Europe or Thailand, while most cosmetic brands available are from the West. 

According to the United Nations, Bangladesh will be the third-fastest growing economy in the world in terms of achieving high gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019 given its strong fixed investment, vigorous private consumption and accommodative monetary policy. It has over 160 million people, making it one of the most populous countries in the world.

For more details on the proposed OBMM to Dhaka, interested exporters may contact the DTI-Export Marketing Bureau Market Innovation Division at (02) 465 3300 local 217.

29 April 2019

By RD Velasco | Market Innovation Division | DTI-Export Marketing Bureau

Published also in Business Mirror

THE Department of Trade of Industry (DTI) is again leading the Philippine participation to the China International Import Expo (CIIE) to be held in Shanghai, China, from November 5 to 10, 2019.

Following a successful participation in the maiden edition of CIIE held last year, the Philippines plans to expand its participation to 100 companies.

The 50 Filipino companies that participated during last year’s CIIE recorded $37.5 million worth of booked and negotiated sales.

Philippine products will be showcased in two halls—at the Food and Agricultural Products Hall, which features fruits, vegetables, seafood, beverages, dairy products, snack foods, condiments, sweets and agricultural products; and at the Quality Life Hall, which features personal care, accessories, toys, gifts, fashion, furniture, household supplies, sports and entertainment goods, maternal and infant products, pet foods and supplies.

The CIIE is a brainchild of Chinese President Xi Jinping. It was launched last year to indicate China’s firm support to trade liberalization and to actively open the China market to the world. CIIE is a one-of-a-kind trade show in China, which only features foreign exhibitors with no China companies participating. It has three main components—Country Pavilion, Enterprise and Business Zone and the Hongqiao International Trade Forum. 

It is a promising trading platform to promote Filipino products and services to the vast Chinese market and the rest of the world.

China was the Philippines’s top trading partner in 2018, with trade valued at $30.09 billion. However, the trade deficit was huge at around $12.7 billion. CIIE is an avenue to increase Philippine exports and mitigate this trade imbalance.

For inquiries and booth reservation, please  contact the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions through Rowena Mendoza at e-mail address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or through telephone at the (02) 831 22 01 local 257.

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