ABOUT 70 Philippine micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are participating in the 15th China-Asean Expo (Caexpo) from September 12 to 15, 2018 at the Nanning International Convention and Exhibition Center in Nanning, the capital of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southwestern China.

The Philippines will showcase an array of food and beverage products, fashion wearables, arts and crafts, personal care, food supplement and services, expecting to generate sales worth $26 million.

Additionally, a separate business-to-business (B2B) meeting room will be set up for the first time inside the Philippines Commodity Hall Area to give Philippine participants the opportunity to present both their needs and their offers, which are expected to result in new collaborations.

The delegation is being organized by the Department of Trade and Industry-Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions with partner agencies that include the provincial government of Tarlac, Philippine Trade and Investment Center-Guangzhou, DTI-Export Marketing Bureau, DTI-Bureau of Domestic Trade Promotion, DTI-Regional Operations Group, Board of Investments, the Department of Agriculture-Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service and the Tourism Promotions Board.

The province of Tarlac is this year’s selected “Province of Charm.” It will showcase the cultural tourism and investment priority areas of the province.

China was the Philippines’s top trading partner in 2017, with trade valued at $25.48 billion, up 16.19 percent, from the $21.9 billion recorded in 2016. The Philippines exported $8.02 billion worth of merchandise to China in 2017, up 25.8 percent, from the $6.37 billion posted in 2016. The country imported $96.08 billion worth of merchandise from China in 2017, up 14.25 percent, from the $84.11 billion reported in 2016.

Since 2004 the Caexpo has been held annually in Nanning, South China. It is organized by the People’s Government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and cosponsored by the ministries of Commerce or Trade and Industry of China and the 10 ASEAN member-countries, as well as the ASEAN secretariat.