Members of the Philippine delegation from left to right: Mary Ivy Elevencione (PTIC-KL), Federico M. Tiongzon Jr. (Ahya Coco), Joseph Arcenal (Herbio Agrinature), Teresita Carandang (Aficionado/Central Affirmative), Grace Demdam (Magic Melt), Rosella K. Tan (RK Trading), Ma. Divina Mato (ZAMBOECOZONE), Evelyn Falcasantos (EJT Food Products), Ma. Anniese A. Entera (ZAMOECOZONE), Ester Perez (Baker’s Field), Gina Ariola (Zambo City Vet), Regional Director Sitti Amina Jain (DTI-Region 9), Dr. Mario Ariola (Zambo City Vet), Undersecretary Waldo Carpio (DA-Office of Special Concerns), Enrique Hong ( Permex), Commercial Attache Katrina Banzon ( PTIC-KL), Benson Tanoja (MFP home of Quality Products/House of Polvoron), Charlotte Tanoja (MFP home of Quality Products/House of Polvoron), Nolet M. Fulgencio (Dept. of Agriculture Representative in Thailand), Lucky Eagan Pe Benito (Executive Assistant, DA Office of Special Concerns), Susan Empaynado (CAGAPA), Raison Arobinto (EMB), Chol Dela Paz (CITEM), Arselyn Palad (EMB), and Belteshazzar Café (PTIC-KL).

Twenty-four Philippine companies bagged more than US$42 million of export sales and investment leads from over 300 foreign buyers in the country’s participation in the Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) held last April 3 to 6, 2019 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Led by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) and the Export Marketing Bureau (EMB), 24 food and non-food companies showcased the Philippines’ top halal-certified products, as well as some of the country’s top tourism destinations, under a unified national pavilion.

The Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone (ZAMBOECOZONE) generated a total of US$30.15 million worth of investment leads while halal products and services generated US$11.93 million of sales.

Among the best-selling products under the HalalPhilippines’ pavilion were cassava chips, coconut water, virgin coconut oil, turmeric brew and canned tuna. For non-food products, whitening soaps and perfumes sold the most.

“We have been successful in our return to showcase our premier halal-certified products and make a statement that our country is ready to meet the demands of the growing global halal market,” said DTI-CITEM Executive Director Pauline Suaco-Juan. “The Philippines is the most visited country pavilion in MIHAS 2019 according to the organizers of MIHAS and was even visited by King of Malaysia Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah.”

“Eleven out of 24 companies have participated in the event for the first time. This forms part of our mission to capacitate new Philippine companies for the export halal market,” added Suaco-Juan.

These eleven new companies were Aliments Makkhan Bistro and Café; Baker’s Field Enterprises; B&C Healthy Snack Foods, Inc.; Cassava Growers and Processors Association (CAGAPA); EJT Food Products; Gee’s Agri Coco Products; General Nutrifoods Phils, Inc.; Herbio Agrinature Processing Center; Mira’s Turmeric Products; Permex Producer and Exporter Corp.; and RK Trading and Services.

Returning companies were Ahya Coco Organic Food Manufacturing Corp.; Alter Trade Corp.; Asian Halal Centre (ZamboEcoZone); Castillejos Agri-Farms, Inc.; Central Affirmative Co., Inc.; C&H Cosmetics Industry; Fruits of Life, Inc.; Greenlife Coconut Product Phils., Inc.; Magic Melt Foods, Inc.; MFP Home of Quality Products; Psalmstre Ent., Inc.; Stalder Laboratories, Inc.; and Wellness Care Int’l Corp.

MIHAS is considered the world’s largest halal event. It offers networking and business opportunities for halal exhibitors and buyers. In 2017, it welcomed over 22,000 trade visitors from more than 70 countries and generated record sales beyond RM1 Billion for 600 exhibitors.

The four-day event is hosted by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and organized by the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) in association with the Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC) and the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM).

Leveling up halal exports in the global value chain

In a press conference, DTI expressed its aim to increase the country’s exports of halal products by 6 to 8 percent to around US$605 million in 2019, as it intensifies promotion efforts to gain a share of the 3.2-trillion US dollars world halal market.

EMB Assistant Director Anthony Rivera said exports of halal products reached US$560 million in 2018 with 90 percent of these exports being food and non-alcoholic beverages. Other products exported are soap and detergents, pharmaceutical drugs, and cosmetics.

As of April 2019, DTI estimates that the Philippines currently has more than a thousand halal-certified products.

Suaco-Juan, likewise, invited food buyers and traders to join the upcoming IFEX Philippines, the country’s biggest export‐oriented food show, where they will put up a Halal pavilion to showcase a curated selection of these products.

This participation under HalalPhilippines is organized by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) and Export Marketing Bureau (EMB), in partnership with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) in Kuala Lumpur, Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Tourism (DOT) in Davao and DTI Regional Offices 9 and 12.

CITEM is the organizer of IFEX Philippines happening on May 24-26 at the World Trade Center Metro Manila. 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.

Those who are interested to join IFEX Philippines can visit♦

Date of release: 30 April 2019