By Maria Jaena P. Go-Aco | Market Innovation Division (MID) | DTI-Export Marketing Bureau

01 April 2019

Published also in Business Mirror

RUSSIA, the largest country in the world in terms of land mass, is the 12th-largest economy in the world with a nominal gross nominal product of $4.02 trillion.

The Eurasian Economic Union single market of Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan Armenia and Kyrgyzstan increase this consumer base to over 170 million more wherein Russia is the lead country.

The visit of President Duterte in May 2017 to  Russia paved the way to vast opportunities for increased economic cooperation, political security, and cultural and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries. To move things forward, the Department of Trade and Industry forged and signed a Joint Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation, and discussed various areas of cooperation in trade and investments, agriculture, industry, energy, manufacturing, infrastructure, transport, tourism, science and nuclear technology, labor and higher education.

The Department of Agriculture, likewise, convened the very first Philippines-Russia Joint Working Group Meeting on Agricultural Cooperation.  With this meeting three Philippine fishery companies were accredited by the Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance and can now export canned tuna to Russia.

Together, the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) in Moscow and the DTI’s Export Marketing Bureau  with the DA’s Agribusiness and Marketing Service are currently organizing Philippine participation in the World Food Moscow in September 2019 at Crocus Expo Exhibition Center in Moscow. This outbound business-matching mission (OBMM) with trade-fair participation aims to enable Filipino exporters to promote their products and meet buyers face to face.  Exporters will also have the opportunity to learn and experience the intensity of business in the Russian market through market-sensing activities.

Other activities of the OBMM include meetings with major business chambers, associations and importers in Russia.

It is now time to explore opportunities and do business in Russia.

01 April 2019

Published also in Business Mirror

THE Philippines and United Kingdom convened the first Philippines-United Kingdom Economic Dialogue on March 21, 2019, in Makati City. The inaugural dialogue was led by Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo and British Ambassador Daniel Pruce.

The dialogue marked a milestone in bilateral economic relations as both sides committed to work toward wider and deeper engagement. Topics important to the economic agenda of the Philippines and the United Kingdom  were discussed including increased trade and investment promotion, economic reforms, development of the MSME (micro-small and medium enterprises) sector sustainable and inclusive infrastructure, digital economy, banking and financial services, and social development in education and health.

Current and future economic cooperation initiatives across a broad range of sectors under the United Kingdom’s development programs, such as the Prosperity Fund were, likewise, highlighted. The dialogue was capped off by the signing of a Partnership Statement and Joint Action Plan on Economic Cooperation, Trade and Investment that includes priority sectors for deeper economic cooperation between the two sides such as on trade and investment promotion, industry collaboration, MSME development, innovation, ease of doing business reforms, transparency and anti-corruption initiatives, competition policy, ICT, transport, sustainable infrastructure, banking, fintech, green finance, capital market development, health, education and skills development.

Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez, who met with Ambassador Pruce immediately after the dialogue, said the Philippines “welcomes stronger ties with the United Kingdom as one of its top trade, investment, and development partners in Europe” and noted the dialogue signals that “both sides are ready and open for more business.”

Rodolfo also underscored “the dialogue allows us to harness complementarities to further strengthen our economic ties.”

The British Ambassador said the UK “remains committed to support sustainable and inclusive development in the Philippines and to enable programmes that encourage growing bilateral trade and investment.”

With the successful convening of the inaugural dialog, the Philippines and UK look forward to increased two-way trade and investments as well as sustained collaboration in concrete and mutually beneficial economic cooperation initiatives.

18 March 2019

Published also in Business Mirror

TRADE Secretary Ramon M. Lopez pushed for greater bilateral cooperation on the area of barter trade between the Philippines and Malaysia during his dialogue with Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Ignatius Darell Leiking on March 8, 2019.

The trade chief said the revival of the barter-trade system in Mindanao will support the promotion of the halal industry from both countries. The ministers also agreed to cooperate in strengthening the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Areas (BIMP-EAGA).

“We should really make these areas of cooperation work to create and bring more economic activities to both Filipinos and Malaysians. The barter trade, as well as the BIMP-EAGA, will mean a lot to our people,” Lopez said.

The trade chief reported the ongoing progress in the revival of the barter-trade system in Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi areas (Basulta) that aims to provide more livelihood and income to small coastal communities, especially in Sulu and Tawi-Tawi. He also underscored the Philippines’s potential in the halal industry and the opportunities it offers to Malaysian consumers.

Officials from the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) noted that apart from electronics, top imports from the Philippines include processed food, which could be a strong start for halal promotions.

In 2018 Malaysia was the country’s 10th-largest trading partner, 11th-largest export market and ninth-top import supplier. Total bilateral trade amounted to $6 billion in 2018 compared to $5.5 billion in 2017.

The Department of Trade and Industry will head a delegation in April to attend the Malaysia International Halal Showcase.

“This kind of activities is very important to the Philippines as the country is still beginning to recognize its potentials in the halal industry and would learn much from big economies, like Malaysia,” Lopez added.

Both ministers expressed the need to focus on the development of ASEAN’s subregions, which include the BIMP-EAGA.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian minister expressed his appreciation of Philippine products and home-grown brands like Jollibee, which is currently expanding in Malaysia.

MITI officials also conveyed the interest of many Malaysian companies in participating in the Philippines’s massive infrastructure project, “Build, Build, Build,” as well as the assistance extended to companies intending to invest in the Philippines.

The meeting between Lopez and Leiking followed the visit to the Philippines of Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad last week.

Present during the meeting were DTI Undersecretaries Ceferino Rodolfo and Abdulgani Macatoman, Assistant Secretaries Angelo Taningco and Allan Gepty, Board of Investments International Investments Promotion Service Chief Lanie Dormiendo, Malaysia External Trade Development Corp. (Matrade) CEO Dato’ Wan Latiff Wan Musa, Malaysian Investment Development Authority Executive Director for Strategic Planning Zabidi Mahbar, Asean Economic Integration Division of MITI Director Khairulnizam Hashim and Matrade Manila Trade Commissioner Siti Azlina Mohd Ali Hanafiah.

18 March 2019

Published also in Business Mirror

TWENTY-FIVE Philippine companies bagged more than $83 million of export sales from over 1,163 foreign buyers when the country joined Gulfood at the Sheikh Rashid Hall, Dubai World Trade Centre, United Arab Emirates (UAE) from February 17 to 21, 2019.

Led by the Department of Trade and Industry, through the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (DTI-CITEM), the 25 local food producers and manufacturers showcased the country’s top halal-certified food selections in the country’s 14th participation in the event.

“Our country’s tropical selections once again delighted the palate of buyers across the globe under the Philippine pavilion in Gulfood, one of the world’s biggest and most prestigious events on food,” DTI-CITEM Executive Director Pauline Suaco-Juan said.

The Gulf Food Hotel and Equipment Exhibition and Salon Culinaire, popularly known as Gulfood, is considered one of the world’s biggest stages where the latest tastes, trends and innovations are unveiled.  It is a trade and business platform that provides immense opportunities to buyers, exhibitors and notable personalities in the food and hospitality industries.

Among the best sellers under the FoodPhilippines pavilion were dried fish (herring and anchovies), fruit preserves, nuts, condiments from Pixcel Transglobal Foods Inc.; fresh banana from SL Agritech; tamarind mix and oyster sauce from Mama Sita’s; canned sardines from Phil-Union Frozen Foods Inc.; and sardines, tuna, frozen fish, canned vegetables and fruits from Mega Global Corp.

Also showcased in the pavilion were products from Alsons Aquaculture Corp., Brandexports Philippines Inc., Celebes Coconut Corp., Century Pacific Food Inc., Columbia International Food Products Inc., Fitrite Inc., Gem Foods International Inc., Krystle Exports Philippines Inc., Leonie Agri Corp., LTH Food Industries Inc., Mama Sita’s, Marikina Food Corp., Market Reach International Resources, Monde Nissin Corp., Philippine Grocers Food Exports Inc., Profood International Corp., Q-Phil Products International, Sagrex Foods Inc., San Miguel Pure Foods Co., See’s International Food and Super Q.

“Participating in this five-day event is strategic for us to sustain and strengthen the promotion of Philippine food products in the Middle East and North African [Mena] region, particularly in member-states of the Gulf Cooperation Council,” Suaco-Juan said.

The Philippine participation in Gulfood is also aimed at expanding the country’s market share in the global halal trade. According to Hexa Research, the global halal food market size is predicted to reach $2.55 trillion by 2024, driven by the rising demand for the consumption of halal meat.

“We also invite buyers and food enthusiasts with keen interest in Philippine and other Asian products to taste more of these in the upcoming edition of IFEX Philippines, where we will present the next big thing in Asian food under the theme ‘NXTFOOD Asia,’” she said.

This participation under FoodPhilippines is led by DTI-CITEM as part of the government’s unified effort to promote the Philippines as a source of quality food products in the global market.

CITEM is the organizer of IFEX Philippines, the country’s biggest export‐oriented food show, happening from May 24 to 26. IFEX Philippines 2019 will present “NXTFOOD ASIA” where it will showcase the next big thing in Asian food with the latest food innovations, trends and best practices in the Asian food industry.

By John Derrick Anchinges | Export Assistance and Business Matching Division (EABMD) | DTI-Export Marketing Bureau

18 March 2019

Published also in Business Mirror

WHETHER you are an overseas company looking to establish business relations with Philippine suppliers or a local exporter searching for buyers or clients abroad, the Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB) has you covered.

EMB plays an indispensable role in empowering Philippine exporters by providing them the necessary platforms and tools that enable them to be part of the global supply chain. The EMB, mandated to oversee the development and promotion of Philippine exports, ensures that all programs, resources and initiatives offered by the government pertinent to the strategic expansion of Philippine exports are made accessible and inclusive to its stakeholders. These services include, but are not limited to, trade facilitation, business matching, export accreditation, trade complaint handling, market consultancy and export knowledge processing.

EMB’s business-matching service, in particular, provides an important opportunity in advancing the competitiveness of Philippine export products and services. The Bureau endeavors to provide professional guidance to its stakeholders in navigating the vast and intricate network of businesses across the global market and break new grounds internationally.

The EMB is single-minded in its campaign to promote the best of the Philippines to the world. It works in close collaboration with trade associations, Philippine embassies abroad, and Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) offices overseas to make certain that trade leads and business-matching opportunities are readily available to its clients and partners.

The EMB, through its Export Assistance and Business Matching Division (EABMD), assists micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) by equipping them with the requisite export knowledge and entrepreneurial insights to ensure that Philippine commodities are of first-class quality and comply with the necessary international standards and certifications.

Direct inquiries from foreign buyers and trade opportunities reported by trade representatives abroad are available for reference at the DTI-EMB office in Makati, Metro Manila.

For business-matching opportunities, exporters may contact DTI-EMB through e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; or telephone: (02) 465-3300 local 102/104, (02) 897-7610.

Equally important, the Bureau, through the assistance of our PTICs and international partners, facilitate and organize trade shows, exhibits, and outbound and inbound business missions. Business missions are focused expeditions where Philippine suppliers are set to meet with foreign buyers abroad, and vice versa, to negotiate and conduct business. Trade shows, meanwhile, are exhibitions where companies in specific industries demonstrate and showcase their newest products and services, explore the latest market trends and opportunities, and engage in face-to-face business-matching meetings. To signify interest in joining these missions, please contact (02) 465-3300 local 216, 228, 230.

Tradeline Philippines, a trade- intelligence platform of the DTI-EMB, boasts of a real-time business-matching system where foreign buyers’ requirements are matched with Philippine suppliers online. This program equips the Bureau with the essential apparatus to maintain an integrated export intelligence structure that covers all dimensions of export marketing.

To be part of our database, you can register your company as either buyer or supplier at

For further inquiries on trade statistics and online business matching, please visit

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