5 November 2020 via Recorded Message

Ladies and gentlemen, good morning!

To everyone gathered in Shanghai today, it is with great pleasure that we welcome you all to the opening of our Philippine Pavilion here at the 2020 China International Import Expo (CIIE). We would also like to give due recognition to our Chinese counterparts—the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and to His Excellency President Xi Jinping—for their unwavering resolve in pushing through with CIIE 2020.

The CIIE was established in pursuit of China’s bid to help boost global economic confidence. We are confident that this event will also serve as a turning point towards global economic recovery in the wake of the economic challenges wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. On behalf of the Filipino people and the international trading community, we offer China our profound thanks.

Despite the extraordinary circumstances the world faces this year, we are proud to announce that for this CIIE, the Philippines is leading a strong delegation made up of 40 exhibitors under our FOODPhilippines Pavilion.

For the past two years since CIIE started, we have been actively participating and giving our support by being physically present. Unfortunately, it is a different situation this year.

One silver lining in this unprecedented crisis we all face is that it has pushed innovation at a much higher rate. For the first time, the Philippines will present a hybrid participation in CIIE with both a physical and virtual presence at the show. Through this participation, we shall continue to improve the bilateral trade relations between the Philippines and China. We shall also forge stronger bonds by sharing our rich culture of food with China and the rest of the world.

For this edition, the Philippines will highlight its healthy and natural food products that will be presented by our 40 exhibitors. This is in line with the country’s response to the rapid growth of the health and wellness sector in the global market. Through these efforts to promote healthier consumer foods and beverages, the Philippines aims to solidify its place as a key player in this growing sector. More importantly, our Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) will gain broader market access through international events like these while also generating more jobs and employment for our people.

As such, our exhibitors will showcase a wide variety of quality and innovative food products suited for today’s market trends and conditions. This includes products from our fresh fruits category like coconuts and coconut-based products, as well as bananas—our top fruit export to China since 2018.

In closing, COVID-19 has disrupted the usual ways of doing business and it is necessary for all of us to adapt to the “New Normal.” However, we believe there is a “Better Normal” in furthering economic growth and the Philippines—under the leadership of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte—is one with the rest of the world in working towards a better, brighter post-pandemic future. We wish everyone present at the trade show a safe and productive six days ahead.

Before we end, we would like to thank the Philippine organizing team headed by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and its attached agencies. These include the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the Export Marketing Bureau (EMB), and the Foreign Trade Service Corps (FTSC). We would also like to cite the hardworking men and women of our Philippine Trade and Investment Centers (PTIC) in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong.

We would also thank our partners: the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) of the Philippines, PHILEXPORT, and the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Incorporated (FFCCCII). And of course, we laud the CIIE organizers for mounting a bigger and better edition of their event this year despite the challenge of the pandemic.

Please enjoy the best that FOODPhilippines has to offer and may we all have a fruitful CIIE experience.

Xie xie ni at mabuhay tayong lahat!♦

Date of Release: 23 November 2020