The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) sees huge potential of penetrating the Chinese market through country participation in international trade expositions and facilitation of business-to-business linkages.

“Business-to-business activities are increasing and we see a lot of Philippine enterprises eager to penetrate the huge Chinese market. China’s recent move to open up more through lowering of its import tariffs and easing market access also present a wide-range of benefits for Philippine businesses. This can help us in our efforts to expand our exports to China,” said DTI Trade and Investments Promotion Group Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado.

DTI recently led the country’s participation at Salon International de L’alimentation or SIAL China held in Shanghai, China from 16 to 18 May. The country was represented by sixteen (16) Philippine food enterprises that showcased top-notch Philippine food products including fresh and processed fruits, coconut products and condiments.

Meanwhile, DTI’s Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) Shanghai led Philippine participating companies in meeting with potential distributors and various procurement entities in Shanghai including one of China’s leading supermarket chains, City Shop Supermarket.

During the said fair, one of the participating Philippine companies, the Innovative Packaging Industry Corp. which offers healthy fruit snacks was recognized and awarded as among the best in food innovation for its flavor offerings and packaging of fruit crisps products.

“International trade exposition participation is among the many means to introduce new products and services. It is a good opportunity to talk to potential buyers and distributors that may carry Philippine MSMEs’ products in key markets such as China. We urge them to tap government initiatives and support services including country participations and exhibitions,” explained Terrado.

Dubbed as the largest food fair in Asia, SIAL China was participated in by 67 countries across the globe. This year’s Philippine participation was facilitated by DTI’s Export Marketing Bureau, Department of Agriculture and the Consulate General of the Philippines in Shanghai.

“We are committed in expanding our exports in the coming periods that will lead to more investments and job opportunities in the country. With our focus on helping Philippine companies access markets abroad, we are optimistic that with China’s opening up to its trading partners, we will be able to lead more companies and achieve balance in trade between our countries,” said Terrado.

The DTI with its private sector partners is also gearing up for the country’s participation in November at the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) where countries are expected to mount country pavilions highlighting developments in trade in goods and services and various investment opportunities in different industries and sector. In September, the country is also expected to join and mount bigger country participation at the China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) in Nanning, China.

Based on published data, historical trend showed that from 2015 to 2017, Philippine merchandise exports to China reflected a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.95%. In 2017, China also emerged as the top trading partner of the Philippines with total bilateral trade valued at $23.82 billion. With the blooming trade relations between the two country, DTI intends to intensify its efforts in assisting businesses aiming to capture the Chinese market.

Support services to businesses are provided by DTI’s Export Marketing Bureau and Philippine Trade and Investment Centers located in China’s key cities: Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shanghai.♦

Date of release: 6 July 2018