25 November 2019

Published also in Business Mirror

The Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB), in collaboration with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC)-Tokyo and Asean -Japan Centre (AJC), will conduct an outbound business matching mission (OBMM) to Tokyo, Japan, for the Christmas/holiday décors, gifts and  houseware sectors in time for the Philippine Festival Product Showcase and Bazaar 2019 from November 27 to December 2, 2019.

This is the first engagement of EMB with PTIC-Tokyo in promoting the lifestyle sector. The Philippine delegation is composed of 27 companies from the holiday décor, gifts and houseware sector. The key components for this OBMM project include retail/product showcase, individual client meetings, business forum, business-matching (B2B) meetings and market sensing/store checks.

The project aims to strengthen the Philippines’s position as a major trading partner of Japan, identify the business development and new business leads through the individual business meetings, forum and networking activities. It also intends to test retail prospects of handmade small and medium enterprise (SME) products in the Japanese mainstream market and render a  presentation to Japan stakeholders on opportunities for outsourcing gifts, holiday décor, and interior product manufacturing to Philippine regional SMEs.

The companies joining the mission are: A. Teves Enterprises, Acento Colleccion Inc., Adorno ’72 Home Decors, Ai-She Footwear, Benelco Arts and Crafts, Brics  Ventures, Coco Plus Aquarian Development Corp., Crafter’s Joy Cornhusk Products, Cut N Shape Craft Manufacturing, Denmark Candle, Dorevi Industries, Esrom’s House of Eco Buri and Fae Décor Crafts.

Also joining are Fruits of Life Inc., Fulgosino Enterprises, Island RKOC Home Decors & Accessories, Jacildo’s Handicrafts, J.E.R. Shells Craft Creations International, Jhaz Footwear Store, LBR Philcrafts, Ness Crafts and Fine Goods, Rowilda’s Loomweaving, San Mariano Banana Growers and Producers Cooperative, Style Cat Mauve Marketing, TGIA Craft Manufacturing, Tuy Arts and Designs, and Yamang Atin Enterprises.

The business-matching activity with the AJC is an opportunity for these companies to network with prospective buyers, retailers, distributors and fit-out companies. AJC will prearrange meetings, with the assistance of PTIC-Tokyo, based on the initial B2B survey.

The Philippine Festival promises to be Japan’s biggest Philippine event of the year since there are over 30,000 Filipinos living and working in Tokyo complemented by the presence of Japanese locals as prospective consumer base.

The two-day event used to be known as the “Barrio Fiesta” and was held in Yokohama’s Yamashita Park. In 2013, it was rebranded as the Philippine Festival and has since been hosted in Hibiya Park. But this year, it will be held at Yoyogi Park at Shibuya.

On the other hand, the Winter Illuminations Lighting Show is a top seasonal tourist attraction in Tokyo with a number of special light up events being held in the city during winter. Shibuya is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Tokyo known for the trendy young culture and also the vibrant nightlife.

An added attraction in the Winter Illumination Light Show is the Shibuya Hikarie in the Shibuya Business District, which also features retail sales and event space up to floor 11, at which point access is controlled to the theater  (11th to 16th floors) and private office space (17th to 34th floors). The eighth floor is the creative space where the following are located: art gallery, museum, and design travel store. Lifestyle Goods, Beauty and Fashion are located at the first to fifth floors. This corporate and commercial entity is home to all things design, lifestyle, and hospitality that present potential business opportunities for the Philippine companies.

“The inherent strength of the Philippine industries for the Christmas/holiday décors, gifts and housewares, immense opportunity and potential demand in Japan, and its reputation of being a fertile ground for company set up because of its commitment to sustainable development and economic diversification, progressive-minded government and liberal corporate policies were main consideration for organizing this mission,” DTI-Trade Promotions Group Undersecretary Abdulgani M. Macatoman said.

25 November 2019

Published also in Business Mirror

The digital transformation reshaping global trade and its impact on and opportunities for Philippine exporters will be the highlight of the National Export Congress 2019 (NEC 2019) on December 6, 2019.

NEC 2019 is the culmination of the annual National Exporters’ Week to be held from December 2 to 6, 2019, at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC). The five-day NEW 2019 marks the yearly celebration of Exporters’ Week every first week of December.

It is organized by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through the Export Marketing Bureau, in collaboration with the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (Philexport) and Export Development Council.

With the theme “Driving Exports through Digital Transformation,” NEC 2019 will look at the critical role of technology and collaboration in growing exports, and innovative ways to enhance the competitiveness of Filipino micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) exporters through digitization.

Philexport President Dr. Sergio R. Ortiz-Luis Jr. underscored the need for micro and MSMEs to level up their operations and processes, and improve their business strategies and efficiencies amid the rapid changes and emerging opportunities in the age of digitalization and e-commerce.

MSME exporters must also be aware of and actively seek out the resources, training, and support available to them from the government and the private sector, he added.

These urgent and relevant issues will be tackled at NEC 2019, which lines up top experts to provide updates and information on, among others, financing support and fintech, self-certification, electronic certificate of origin, innovation programs for exporters, and small and medium enterprises-oriented solutions and technologies.

NEC will also give due recognition to the top Filipino exporters of 2018. NEW 2019 is timely as digitalization is rapidly revolutionizing the trade and commerce landscape, said Ortiz-Luis. He mentioned the results of a recent PHILEXPORT survey on e-commerce that showed most Filipino firms are already aware that going digital is crucial.

Half of Philippine companies are now engaged in e-commerce, while those with no online presence have expressed plans to do so.

Aside from NEC, Exporters’ Week will also feature Usapang Exports, which are free information sessions for exporters, and the exporters’ bazaar. PHILEXPORT will also be conducting regional and sectoral consultations with SME exporters during the weeklong event.

Download: NEC 2019 Program


4 November 2019

Published also in Business Mirror

Two grand ladies of chocolate marked a historic event at Salon du Chocolat in Paris, France. Dona Demetria Gutierrez of Mexico gave a symbolic baby cacao tree from Mexico to Charita Puentespina, founder and resident of Philippines’ Malagos Agri-Ventures Corp., makers of the award-winning Malagos Chocolate.

The event commemorated the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade, the historic trade route which facilitated the exchange of goods between the Philippines and Mexico during the Spanish colonial era. Gutierrez and Puentespina are both cacao farmers in their respective countries.

The event was held on October 31, 2019, at the Podium at the Porte De Versailles during the Salon du Chocolat, the world’s largest event related to chocolate and cacao from cocoa-producing countries around the world.

Cacao was first introduced to the Philippines from Mexico via the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade (1565 to 1815). Although the exact variety of the Theobroma cacao brought to the Philippines is hard to determine, what is certain is that the crop thrived in Philippine growing conditions, considering that the country is located within the narrow band in the equatorial belt where cacao grows best.

The chocolate business in the Philippines has experienced a resurgence of late, owing to the efforts of the Philippine government, as well as local farmers like Puentespina and her family company, Malagos Agri-Ventures Corp., to promote Philippine chocolates in the world market.

The company’s Malagos Chocolate has led several other homegrown chocolate brands in garnering several awards from international chocolate organizations in the past few years. Cacao beans grown by Puentespina’s company were recently designated Heirloom Cacao by the US-based Heirloom Cacao Preservation Fund.

Through the Outbound Business Matching Missions service of the Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau, Malagos Chocolates has been one of the seven micro, small and medium enterprises that participated in the Salon du Chocolat. The first participation of the Philippines in the event was in 2017.

According to the report from PTIC-Paris, the company has booked an initial sale per month with a British company for the supply of dark chocolates. Salon du Chocolat recognized them to be among the Top 50 submissions in the 166 entries from 40 countries of the International Cocoa Awards, a first for any Philippine producer for the Cacao of Excellence. The first participation also paved the way for awareness for Philippine cacao beans/chocolates in a globally competitive arena.

Malagos Agri-ventures has also participated in DTI-EMB’s Inbound Business Matching Missions (IBMMs) where buyers abroad visit the Philippines for the one-on-one meetings with the exporters. The International Food Exhibition (IFEX) is one of the venues where EMB assisted Malagos through the B2Bs. Trade leads from various buyers abroad like Europe who are looking for chocolate/cacao products are also being referred to Malagos Agri Ventures for possible future business negotiations.

11 November 2019

Published also in Business Mirror

The latest World Bank Doing Business 2020 study shows the Philippines jumping 29 spots from 124th to 95th, the biggest mover in ASEAN and a positive sign toward making it easier to conduct business in the country. Aside from this, the country was also cited in Standard Chartered’s Trade20 Index as one of the top 20 markets with the greatest potential for future trade growth.

In line with improving the ease of doing business and providing Philippine exporters the enabling environment to make them more globally competitive, the Department of Trade and Industry’s Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB) launched its business intelligence platform, Tradeline Philippines ( in 2016. 

The Web-based portal serves as DTI-EMB’s main information and communications technology (ICT) tool in providing its stakeholders with an integrated export information system that provides regular trade statistics reports, market and product information, supplier and buyer databases, and other trade-related information.

One of the major components of Tradeline Philippines is the online Business Matching System (, a business-to-business (B2B) platform where registered local suppliers and foreign buyers can meet for potential transactions. 

The searchable supplier and buyer database allow buyers to contact Philippine exporters who can provide products or raw materials that match their requirements. Exporters who register in the site are verified first by DTI-EMB’s product officers to ensure that they are legitimate businesses. A user manual for both buyers and suppliers is also downloadable for easy reference and guide.

For those who are looking for trade statistics, Tradeline Philippines has an Interactive Trade Statistics page where you can search for specific export and import figures based on year, products, market and point of origin, among others. There is also a Quick Stats feature that shows the country’s top trading partners, export markets, export products and exporting provinces. These can be printed or downloaded as a PDF document or spreadsheet for future reference.

The site also has Market and Industry Profiles that provide an overview of the country’s export markets and products. Other resources that can be accessed for free are directories of government agencies, trade associations, as well as an interactive directory of Philippine exporters.  

For the latest trends and updates on the export industry, users can download publications like the Euromonitor Digest, a bimonthly online publication of the EMB, which aims to provide insightful analysis on the reports culled from Euromonitor International’s Business Intelligence Research, and Market Intelligence  Digest. Special publications, like the Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) 2018-2022 Executive Summary and the Philippine Export Guidebook, are also available for download.

Those who are interested in exporting can also check out the list of prohibited and regulated products for exports to avoid unnecessary complications and ensure hassle-free trade with their potential overseas buyers.

These are just some of the information available at one’s fingertips in Tradeline Philippines. Visit and discover products and services beyond your expectations. 


14 October 2019

Published also in Business Mirror

Cologne, Germany–As part of the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI)  vigorous drive to push global promotion of exportable food and fruit products, and further boost the Philippine export industry, Trade Promotions Undersecretary Abdulgani M. Macatoman led a group of 36 Philippine food producers and manufacturers to the leading trade fair for food and beverage industry, the Anuga 2019, which ran here from October 5 to 9.

“This gathering signal a strong ‘One DTI’—an agency united by a common cause to uphold the quality of our local businesses and the export competitiveness of the Philippines in the global trade,” Macatoman said during the event’s ceremonial opening.

The Philippines highlighted the country’s premium commodities—banana, coconut, mango and tuna along with other top-notch products—in the said trade fair.

Speaking of trade, the Philippines and European countries have always maintained a solid partnership in matters of trade and investments. In terms of region, the European Union, or EU, is currently the Philippines’ fourth-largest trading partner, third-largest import source and fourth-largest export market in 2018 with Germany as the country’s top 7 export country destination.

The Philippines also continues to enjoy zero tariff benefits from the EU under the Generalized Scheme of Preferences or GSP+. The GSP+ coverage was implemented in 2014 and currently gives duty-free privileges in 6,274 product tariff lines from the Philippines.

The EU Commission’s 2018 midterm GSP evaluation showed that the Philippines has the second-most diversified export portfolio under EU-GSP+ with 3,047 tariff lines covered under EU-GSP+ from 2014 to 2016. The same report also indicated that the Philippines has an average EU-GSP+ utilization rate of 68.9 percent from 2014 to 2016.

“With the overwhelming response from our previous participation, we have brought this year our biggest delegation yet in Anuga with 36 companies under the FoodPhilippines banner as part of the Philippine government’s initiative to strengthen the Philippine and European relations in matters of trade and investment, It is through events like Anuga, which offers a platform for business opportunities and partnerships through the exchange of culture and flavors, that this trade relation continues to grow even further,” Macatoman said.

“We are thankful to our European partners for this privilege since around 25 percent of total Philippine exports to the EU benefit from the EU GSP+ trade preference. As of 2017, an estimate of more than €2-billion worth of Philippine exports has benefited from GSP+ trade preference,” Macatoman said.

This year, the Philippine delegation was graced by Madam Cielito “Honeylet” Avanceña, who has been a long-time businesswoman and an advocate of micro, small and medium enterprises.

The Philippine participation in Anuga 2019, is spearheaded by the DTI and the Center for International Trade Expositions and Mission, and Philippine Trade and Investment Centers Berlin, Germany.

to top