14 March 2018

Published also in Business Mirror

THE Malaysia Promotion Program (MPP) is currently taking in Manila from March 11 to 18, under the theme “Choose Malaysia.”

The MPP is aimed to promote greater trade, investment and tourism activities between Malaysia and the Philippines. Previous editions of MPP were held in London and Sydney. This year Manila is chosen for its 2018 edition.

Trade between Malaysia and the Philippines in 2017 was registered at $5.93 billion, an increase of 21.4 percent, from 2016. Malaysia exports to the Philippines were valued at $3.84 billion, while imports accounted for $2.09 billion with both exports and imports increasing by 16.7 percent and 31.3 percent, respectively. Trade was in favor of Malaysia with $1.75 billion of trade surplus recorded in 2017. The Philippines was Malaysia’s 15th-largest trading partner in 2017.

Current economic development in the Philippines especially in the digital economy and “Build, Build, Build” agenda has created more interest from Malaysian suppliers and service providers to venture into this country.

In March 70 Malaysian companies and government agencies in various industries, such as information and communications technology (ICT), construction and building materials, furniture, food and beverages will be in Manila to meet with their counterparts.

In conjunction with MPP, Matrade organized the Malaysia Business Forum on March 12 at Makati Shangri-La. The theme, is “Leveraging Partnership: Asean and Beyond,” is to encourage businesses in both countries to further engage in cross-border trade and investment.

Partnership between Malaysia-Philippines businesses is encouraged in venturing into other Association of Southeast Asian Nations member-states and other regions. Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, minister of International Trade and Industry Malaysia, delivered the keynote address. Breakout sessions to discuss further on collaborations in ICT and construction industries were held in the afternoon.

Citarasa Malaysia or, simply “taste of Malaysia,” is aimed to promote Malaysia’s food and beverage, culture and tourism. This event was held from March 11 to 13 at Glorietta 2, Activity Center, Palm Drive, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Activities arranged included Malaysian cultural performances, business matching, quizzes, food sampling and food demo.

About 30 Malaysian exporters of quality building and construction materials and furniture would be participating in Worldbex 2018.

Matrade is the national trade-promotion agency of Malaysia. It is actively involved in assisting foreign companies sourcing for Malaysian products and services.

14 March 2018

Published also in Business Mirror

NEW YORK—The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) with its Trade and Investments Promotion Group led a business forum in New York focusing on topnotch health-care information- management services being offered by world-class Philippine companies.

The 2018 Healthcare Information Management Services Business Forum was held at the Kalayaan Hall of the Philippine Center in New York on  February 26, 2018.

DTI Trade and Investments Promotion Group Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado led the Philippine delegation composed of seven officials from business-process outsourcing (BPO) companies and two industry associations.

The Philippine Trade and Investment Center in New York (PTIC New York) organized the forum in cooperation with Healthcare Information Management Association of the Philippines. New York was the first destination of the road show, which ended in Las Vegas where the Philippine business delegation participated in the annual exhibition organized by American Health Information Management Association. Terrado delivered a keynote speech highlighting the country’s 10-point socioeconomic agenda underpinning DTI’s support for the development and promotion of IT-BPO clusters in selected new wave cities.

Terrado also emphasized the inclusion of capacity-building infrastructure in the countryside, and the recalibration of the DTI’s support for micro, small and medium enterprises, and technology-driven start-ups.

The forum served as a platform for DTI to highlight the Philippines’s strong GDP growth, the expanding middle class and the record levels of private and government consumption as barometers of a stable and sustainable investment landscape for partners and investors from the United States.

Meanwhile, representatives from HIMAP presented the developments in the industry, highlighting the Philippine’s value proposition as among the top destination for healthcare and information management services. DTI’s Special Trade Representative, Mr. Nicanor Bautista of the PTIC New York moderated the forum’s open discussion.

07 March 2018

Published also in Business Mirror

GLOBAL buyers are up for an exciting showcase of the Philippines’s premier seafood and other food segments in the International Food Exhibition (Ifex) Philippines, the country’s biggest export-oriented food show, from May 25 to 27 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

Organized by the Department of Trade and Industry’s Center for International Trade Expositions and Mission (DTI‐Citem), Ifex Philippines 2018 will stage its first special edition featuring “The Best of the Seas,” focusing on the fast-growing seafood market in the Philippine regions and other Asian countries.

“Now an annual event, Ifex  Philippines continues to be the largest and widely anticipated food trade event in the country,” said Nora K. Terrado, DTI undersecretary for Trade and Investments Promotion Group and Citem officer in charge.

“For its 12th edition, we will highlight the Philippines’s finest seafood to satisfy the growing global demand for marine product and coastal cuisines, along with other exquisite food products across the globe,” Terrado said.

As one of the official business events during the country’s hosting of Asean in 2017, last year’s Ifex Philippines opened more trade opportunities and innovations around the world with the showcase of the Philippines’s best and overseas participation of the European Union (EU), China, South Korea, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and other countries.

The three-day event was attended by nearly 11,000 international and local visitors, including 2,057 high-profile trade buyers from top global retail giants and supermarkets. These buyers came from different regions across the globe, such as Europe, China and SARs, Middle East, East Asia, America and Southeast Asia.

For its 12th edition, the Ifex Philippines will excite buyers with the country’s top and emerging food-export companies to promote Philippine food products and strengthen links with buyers, importers and retailers in the global market. Meanwhile, the event will also put up an international hall to host the top seafood and nonmarine products of leading companies and manufacturers from other participating countries.

Making a flavorful splash in its seafood edition, Ifex Philippines will also stage the Regional Seafood Pavilion, a regional showcase of world‐class seafood products and ingredients locally sourced from the coasts and diverse marine environments across the Philippine archipelago.

“We are tapping the country’s most marine-abundant coastal regions from Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao. This is where we will bring key suppliers to make it easier for buyers to source in one pavilion the best fish and marine products, such as tuna, milkfish, prawns, tilapia and other seafood from the Philippines,” Terrado said.

The Coastal Culinary Cuisine will then complete the culinary journey in a dynamic presentation of the Philippines’s most iconic and distinct regional seafood cuisines from top international and local experts to give an exquisite experience of the country’s heirloom flavors and traditions.

The marketplace is also open for a one‐stop retail experience of premium food products ranging from seafood products, fruits and vegetables, meat and poultry, processed foods, homemade regional delicacies and many more.

For those wanting much more inspiration and adventure, visiting buyers and exhibiting companies can also attend export and investment seminars to get new ideas and updates on the latest regulations, trends and innovations in the food industry from renowned experts, researchers, lecturers and members of academe.

The 12th edition of Ifex Philippines is supported by the Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.

Interested companies/exhibitor may contact Alex Lucas at 831-2137, or send an inquiry at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

By May Niña Celynne P. Layug / DTI - Foreign Trade Service Corps

07 Marxh 2018

Published also in Business Mirror

HOUSTON, Texas—The Philippines Healthcare Information Management Services (HIMS) Trade and Investment Roadshow to the United States, with the theme “Unlocking Opportunities. Embracing Innovation,” held a business forum and outreach in Houston, Texas, on March 1 and 2.

Texas Honorary Consul General Ethel Mercado welcomed the Philippine delegation, headed by DTI-Trade and Investments Promotion Group (DTI-TIPG) Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado and composed of officials from the DTI-Board of Investments (BOI) and Export Marketing Bureau (EMB), Philippine business-process management (BPM) industry leaders and representatives from 13 companies providing information-technology  and HIMS-BPM services.

Attended by health-care professionals and business owners ranging from small to large health-care facilities and institutions, the business forum held at the Texas Medical Center Third Coast Restaurant highlighted the Philippines’s strong economic growth that translates to more enhanced partnership opportunities between the Philippines and the Houston health-care industry.

The delegation served as ambassadors in promoting the sector’s strengths, advantages and capabilities.  Company visits to the top 3 health facilities in Houston, namely, Memorial Hermann, Methodist, and CHI St. Luke’s  Health, as well as Kindred and HealthSouth facilitated discussions on the impact of technology on health care-information management.

“As we see the transformative effect of the Internet of Things in the health-care industry, the Philippines will continue to advance the complementation of our services and these emerging technologies.  It also gives pride to the Philippines on the increasing role of overseas Filipino investors [OFIs] in Houston’s healthcare and IT-BPM sector that have established their own respective facilities.  We will continue to enhance our services to ensure we bring value to our OFIs, as well,” Terrado said.

The Houston business forum and outreach was the second track of the 2018 Philippines HIMS Trade and Investment Roadshows in the United States organized by the BOI and EMB in close coordination with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center Los Angeles and the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce-Texas.

The delegation recently concluded the New York business forum and business-to-business  meetings and will now proceed to Las Vegas for the country’s participation in the 2018 HIMSS Annual Conference and Exhibition, which will be attended by around 40,000 professionals, executives and vendors in the IT/HIM industry worldwide, making a vast potential for networking and investment opportunities for the country.

The Philippines remains one of the leading suppliers of HIMS services worldwide, with 118,245 full-time employees (FTEs) and revenue of $2.41 billion in 2016. The road show is part of the continuous efforts of the Philippines to help the HIMS-BPM industry reach its $5- billion revenue and 210,000 FTEs target by 2022.

By Myrtle Faye Solina / Food and Agri-Marine Division / DTI - Export Marketing Bureau

07 March 2018

Published also in Business Mirror

In Photo: Participants from different industries and regions in the Philippines and the training program coordinators join officials of the Hinrich Foundation of Germany, Leipzig University, and officials of the Department of Trade and Industry’s Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB), Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC), and the German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GPCCI). Seated in first row, beginning third from left: Hinrich Foundation Program Director Alexander Boome, Dr. Utz Dornberger of Leipzig University, DTI-EMB Assistant Director Agnes Legaspi, PTTC Executive Director Nestor P. Palabyab, GPCCI Executive Director Peter Kompalla and PTTC Acting Deputy Executive Director Elizabeth Manuel (second row, fifth from left).

IN support of President Duterte’s “AmBisyon Natin 2040,” the collective long-term vision and aspirations of the Filipino people for themselves and for the country in the next 25 years, the Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has intensified its assistance to local micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) through its Regional Interactive Platform for the Philippine Exporters (Ripples) Plus program.

Ripples Plus is a focused program that aims 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 MSMEs and expand the global export-market opportunities for large corporations.

Ripples Plus aspires to develop both the products and the exporters themselves through program strategies which encompass four  modes of assistance: training and capacity building; marketing and promotion; support for innovation, product development and design, access to markets through mutual recognition agreements (MRAs) and certifications.

In 2017 the Ripples Plus assisted 408 exporters and implemented 33 marketing and promotional activities geared toward the development of products and exporters themselves.

“I was one of the lucky MSMEs who benefited from the Ripples Plus Project Tracks 1 and 2. For the Track 2 project, the conduct of the product development included the translation of the text of the chichacorn labels in Arabic language. This will open new export markets of my chichacorn products specifically in the Middle East Asia  countries,” said Clemencia A. Padre, owner of Ilocos Food Products in Region 1.

“Our participation to the various trade and exhibitions and fairs allowed our cooperative to open new markets and new opportunities. Orders have increased from Manila-  and Cebu-based exporters and converters. The DTI, through the Ripples Plus, made us generate a total sales of P6.40 million for 2016 and P5.06 million for 2017,” said Ma. Trina V. Sumayang, general manager of Tubigon Loomweavers Multipurpose Cooperative.

This year the program aims to undertake targeted and more aggressive export promotion for priority industries, such as food and agri-marine, services, and industrial sectors.

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