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28 September 2019

Published also in Business Mirror

By Sheida May M. Yu, TIDS | Office of the Undersecretary for Trade Promotions Group

Spearheading promotion efforts to foster stronger economic relations with China, Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary for Trade and Promotion Abdulgani Macatoman led the Philippine delegation to the 16th China-Asean Expo (Caexpo) and 16th China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit  from September 21 to 24 at the Nanning International Convention and Exhibition Center in Guangxi province, China.

The 16th Caexpo is considered the second-biggest trade event in China, with a total exhibition space of about 124,000 square meters with 4,600 exhibition booths and around 57,000 visitors.

The DTI team highlighted the Philippines’s trade potentials through an exhibit of products and commodities from various sectors, including home, fashion, and wearables, gifts, handicrafts, personal care, food and services.

The Philippine participation spotlighted this year’s featured destination, the province of General Santos City,  also dubbed as the “City of Charm,” led by Mayor Ronnel C. Rivera. The exhibit, likewise, highlighted Philippine tourism and business opportunities to the huge Chinese and Southeast Asian market.

Aside from promoting the trade, investment, and tourism sectors of General Santos City, the DTI also promoted the country’s developing economic zones in coordination with the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) and Board of Investments (BOI), as well as relevant investment promotion agencies (IPAs).

Meanwhile, the Philippine Investment Promotion Conference was held at the sidelines of the Caexpo on September 22, jointly organized by the DTI-Board of Investments and Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM).

“The Philippine economy is in a position of strength to weather difficult global environment, its current landscape provides plentiful opportunities for domestic and foreign investors alike and the Philippine government remains committed to staying that course,” Macatoman said.

Through this international trade fair, China eyes to connect and boost its investments in ASEAN countries and provide infrastructure developments particularly for micro, small and medium enterprises to participate in the global value chain.

“PRRD [President Duterte] declared his personal guarantee to investors and call on businessmen to ride with [the Philippines’s] on its economic growth story to reach the ultimate goal of creating inclusive growth and shared prosperity to lead to a better quality of life for our countrymen,” Macatoman stressed.

“As we continue to further our efforts to improve trade relations with China, the Asean nations and the rest of the global market, the Philippine government shall, to the best of its abilities, commit to maintaining a conducive environment that allows businesses to thrive in moving toward a more streamlined global trade network,” said Macatoman.

The Philippines’s participation to Caexpo was led by DTI-CITEM in partnership with the Local Government of General Santos City, Philippine Trade and Investment Centers in Guangzhou, Beijing and Shanghai, DTI-Export Marketing Bureau, DTI-Regional Offices, Foreign Trade Service Corps., BOI, the TPB, and other IPAs.

23 September 2019

Published also in Business Mirror

The Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB), together with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC)-Dubai and Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), is organizing the outbound business-matching mission (OBMM) to Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), for Index Dubai 2019 from September 13 to 21, 2019.

DTI-EMB invited 14 Philippine companies to participate in the business-matching meetings and market sensing activities to be held at the Novotel Dubai World Trade Center on September 15, 2019. The companies joining the business mission are: Arden Classic, Bidibidi Enterprise, Bon-Ace Fashion Tools, Coast Pacific Manufacturing Corp., Furniture Doctor, Golden ABC, Kenro Boutique, More Than A Chair, Pascasio Pottery, Delco Wood Producers Manufacturing/Renditions Furniture and Accessories, Cebu Homecraft, Kit Silver, Mel+Marie and Betis Crafts.

DTI Trade Promotions Group (TPG) Undersecretary Abdulgani M. Macatoman said that bringing the Philippines’s contract furniture, furnishings, fashion and apparel sectors in Dubai will help them gain more exposure for Index Dubai 2019 and in anticipation for the country’s participation in Dubai Expo 2020 presenting a golden chance to showcase the Philippine country brand.      

“The mission will promote industry capabilities directly to prospective partners in UAE,” Macatoman said.

The EMB acknowledges the opportunity for industries to be able to sell to take advantage of all new market developments in the region.

“Middle East still remains to be largely untapped for Philippine lifestyle products but there are concrete indications of interest from buyers,” he added.

The main considerations for organizing this business mission include the inherent strength of the Philippine industries for furniture, furnishings, fashion and apparel; immense opportunity and potential demand in the UAE; and its reputation of being a fertile ground for company setup because of its commitment to sustainable development and economic diversification, progressive-minded government, and liberal corporate policies.

By tapping into the UAE market, the Philippines will benefit from key potential trends pointing to Dubai’s current status as a retail mecca and has seen a massive transformation in the last two decades to become the biggest trader among countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region.

The GCC with its young and affluent population and overall prosperity presents a very positive environment for retail businesses. Dubai continues to be a lucrative apparel and fashion market with foreign brands popular in the Arab world, and fashion retailers discovering the franchise model ideally suited to Middle Eastern conditions. There is also a growing niche market of fair fashion with increasing consumer awareness for sustainability, fair trade, and eco compliance.

Most important, the UAE has a booming real-estate sector with rising hotel, commercial, residential construction and housing activity following Dubai Expo 2020. It also has the potential to access many of the 430 million consumers in the wider Middle East and North Africa (Mena) market.

This EMB-led OBMM is a follow-up undertaking for the Philippines to promote lifestyle products in the Middle East with the initial visit undertaken in 2015. The business- matching meetings will target retailers, distributors, real estate, hotel and resort developers, interior designers, architectural firms, real estate and construction managers, and fit-out contractors.

The EMB has identified mega-lifestyle showIndex Dubai 2019 as the anchor event with Philippine participation being organized and led by DTI-EMB and Citem. Index Dubai 2019 vis-à-vis the Design & Hospitality Week 2019 is the largest and most influential lifestyle exhibition in the Middle East. The show is a meeting point to discuss options and opinions with other visitors, exhibitors, buyers, and distributors; make contacts and strengthen network; or open unlimited prospects for cooperation.

Index Dubai 2019 is co-located with other seven brands of shows—Index, The Hotel Show, Workspace, The Leisure Show, Surface Design, FIM and Index Home.  Addressing every aspect of the lifestyle market, Index Dubai 2019 will showcase leading companies including the Philippines’s lifestyle sector that are shaping and presenting business development opportunities in all things design, lifestyle and hospitality in the UAE and across the globe.

23 September 2019

Published also in Business Mirror

As part of the Cool Japan strategy, the Philippines’s TeamApp Inc. and Japan’s Kadokawa Contents Academy (KCA) signed an outsourcing contract for animation projects—from television series to feature films—held on  September 4, 2019, at the DTI International Building in Makati City.

Kadokawa Contents Academy Chief Executive Officer Tetsuya Koga (front, left) and TeamApp Inc. CEO Marilyn Montano ink a contract to implement the partnership in outsourcing films and TV projects on September 4, 2019, at the Department of Trade and Industry International Building, Makati City. DTI-Export Marketing Bureau Services Division Chief Maria Teresa S. Loring, PTIC-Tokyo Commercial Counsellor Ma. Bernardita A. Mathay, KCA Coordinator Dr. Eiji Sugisaki, TeamApp Inc. Creative Director for Animation Mr. Dani Montano, DTI-EMB Director Senen M. Perlada, and DTI-EMB Assistant Director Anthony Rivera served as witnesses in the contract signing.

Japan’s KCA is a subsidiary of Kadocawa Corp., Japan’s leading publisher of projects ranging from feature films, games and comics. The KCA has been appointed by Japan to handle their Cool Japan Program to teach anime across Asia and promote the Japanese culture, products, and services abroad.

KCA already has schools and productions in Thailand, Taiwan, and Malaysia. In line with this, KCA is in constant communication with Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC)—Japan for the Cool Japan Program.

In 2016, KCA approached TeamApp for the school implementation of the program. Their discussions developed into negotiations on anime production, especially when the former learned there were already numerous anime talents in the country.

At first, TeamApp had two major actual tests for KCA and both tests passed the rigorous production tests.

This 2019, KCA has started sending outsource work with TeamApp and their contract will involve training of young animators to be sent to Japan. Also included in the program is the retraining of the Philippine talents in the animation industry.

Initially, the outsourcing contract is for one year and expandable to five years in which KCA will send animation projects from television series to films.

Part of KCA’s long-term plan is to support a school in Manila and address the needs of the animators who will work on their productions. The school will teach 2D, 3D, games assets, and comics/illustrations.

Moreover, the Department of Trade and Industry, through the Export Marketing Bureau (EMB), Film Development Council of the Philippines, and Department of Information and Communications Technology, are working together to promote the animation industry and further advocate the future of the Philippines’s creative economy.

In line with this, TeamApp Inc. is one of the companies that the DTI-EMB has assisted through various info sessions on animation and outbound business missions.

TeamApp Inc. is a creative technology provider in animation, game development, and mobile apps. The company is a one-stop shop for a wide range of requirements, such as animation, game, mobile, and app development for TV commercials, animated TV series, shorts, and the Internet.

23 September 2019

By Kristina Noelle S. Andaya | Knowledge Processing Division | DTI-Export Marketing Bureau

Published also in Business Mirror

AS part of the Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau’s approach in expanding Philippine exports, the Philippines will participate in an outbound business-matching mission (OBMM) to Moscow, Russia, from September 20 to October 1, 2019.

The mission is in collaboration with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center-Moscow and the Department of Agriculture. The OBMM is just in time for the WorldFood Moscow 2019 that will be held from September 24  to 27, 2019, at the Crocus Expo International Exhibition Center, Moscow, Russia.

The delegation will be composed of 14 Philippine food companies who will feature tropical fruits and juices, artisanal chocolates, banana chips, crackers and biscuits, virgin coconut oils and other coconut products, noodles, condiments, and fishery products.

There will be business-matching sessions and market scanning. The delegates will also have a briefing with the Eurasian Economic Commission to inform them on the preferential tariffs provided to beneficiary countries, including the Philippines. The EAEC is an economic union composed of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia with a consumer base of over 170 million.

The OBMM will also provide opportunities for exporters of fishery products which were recently accredited by Russia to promote their products.

“We are now looking at Russia as an emerging market for Philippine exports as we take advantage of the improving trade relations of both countries,” DTI-Trade Promotions Group Undersecretary Abdulgani M. Macatoman said.

WorldFood Moscow is a recognized international food and drink exhibition in Russia which could be an entry point for international manufacturers who aim to penetrate the Russian market. The event connects thousands of businesses from around the world with Russia’s key food and drink buyers, including retail representatives from Russia’s leading supermarket chains, wholesalers, hotel-restaurant-café sector, and food manufacturers.

In 2018, Russia was the Philippines’s 21st trading partner with a total bilateral trade valued at $1.36 billion, or 0.74 percent of total Philippine trade with the world, valued at $182.15 billion. It is the 33rd export market valued at $86.07 million or 0.12-percent share of the total Philippine exports to the world valued at $69.31 billion, and 19th import source accounting for $1.27 billion or 1.13-percent share of the total Philippine imports from the world valued at $112.84 billion.

Moreover, the exports of food products are valued at $17.12 million in 2018. The top 3 Philippine food exports to Russia were desiccated coconuts, other fruits, nuts, and bananas, including plantains, fresh or dried.

16 September 2019

Published also in Business Mirror

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Southeast Asian countries can now have easier access to trade-related information crucial for them to penetrate the regional and international markets.

The Asean SME service Web portal, www.aseansme.org, recognized the need to link smaller firms with enterprises, traders, suppliers, manufacturers and consumers within the region and trade partners.

“…By enhancing their market access and paving the way for their internationalization, SMEs are able to take advantage of the trade and investment opportunities and benefits from regional economic integration,” it said.

The Web portal provides services to ensure that ASEAN shall be globally competitive and innovative by the year 2025.

These portal services promote productivity, technology and innovation; enhancing market access and internationalization; increasing access to finance; enhancing policy and regulatory environment; promoting human capital development; best practices; and other services.

Asean SMEs can also access the list of government service providers; private service providers; business association/private representative organization/chamber of commerce and industry; nonprofit organization/foundation/non-government organization; academic institutions; and joint public and private organization/programs.

The portal has also built directory of new and sale products.

The SMEs are deemed key drivers and contributors to the gross domestic product (GDP) of ASEAN economies, accounting for over 95 percent to 99 percent of all business establishments; and generating between 51 percent and 97 percent of employment in many ASEAN member- states.

The contribution of SMEs to GDP is generally significant at about 23 percent to 58 percent, while their share to exports ranges from 10 percent to 30 percent.

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