By Myrtle Faye L. Solina | Food and Agri-Marine Division | DTI-Export Marketing Bureau

04 March 2019

Published also in Business Mirror

Undersecretary of Trade Promotions Group Abdulgani M. Macatoman of the Department of Trade and Industry during one of the store checks in Dubai.


THE Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) led 18 Philippine exporters to an Outbound Business Matching Mission (OBMM) from February 6 to 19, 2019, to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). 

The  OBMM was headed by DTI Undersecretary of Trade Promotions Group (TPG) Abdulgani M. Macatoman.

The OBMM was conducted in coordination with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) Middle East and Africa Commercial Attaché Charmaine Mignon S. Yalong, in collaboration with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) Foreign Agriculture Service Corps in the Middle East through Agriculture Attaché Gil B. Herico.

This OBMM was conducted in line with the Philippine Export and Development Plan (PEDP) and supports the thrust of Republic Act (RA) 10817, otherwise known as the Philippine Halal Export Development and Promotion (PHEDP) Act to increase the export value and volume of Philippine products and services in the Middle East markets through a deliberate marketing and promotions campaign.

The trade mission activities included business matching, seminar on compliance on market access regulations and requirements, briefing from relevant authorities, such as the Chambers and Dubai Municipality, store checks with major distributors and retailers of Filipino and mainstream brands, such as Bin Dawood Group, Lulu Hypermarket, and Al Maya Group, company visits, networking activities, and visit to Gulfood 2019.

In addition, an information session with the overseas Filipinos on doing business and basics of exporting together with mentoring from the OBMM participants were held in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dubai legs of the mission.

Macatoman reiterated during the mission the need for more Philippine brands to enter the Middle East markets to cater the demand of Filipinos living there and to a larger extent, to penetrate the mainstream market.

The Division Chief of the Food and Agri-Marine Division (FAMD), Rose Marie G. Castillo, emphasized the potential of the hotel, restaurant and café (Horeca) industry.

The Philippines is seen to be well-positioned to cater to the opportunity brought about by Horeca,  especially with the PHEDP in place.

The 18 exporting companies that participated in the OBMM came from the food and beverage sector and personal care. They included Axiom Natur Trading Corp., C and H Cosmetics, SAGANA, DOXO Trading, Frontrow International Enterprises, Fruits of Life, HDR Foods Corp. (Mother’s Best), La Carlota Food Products, Market Reach International Resources, Mindanao Pearl Center, Natural Quality Corp., Oleo-Fats Inc., Pasciolco Agriventures, Pixcel Transglobal Food Inc., Radin Food Products, Trans-Ocean Food Products Inc., Lanao Cargo and Logistic Services and LBC.

DTI-Region 5 also showcased pili nuts during the UAE leg of the mission by bringing nine companies composed of Antes Enterprises, Aycocho’s Food Products, Berton Pilinut Candy & Pastries, JC Pili Center, J. Emmanuel Pastries, Leslie’s Pili Center, Mayon Perfection Confectionery, Ticao Masbate Products and The RAINS Delicacies.

In total, 123 importing companies were met by Filipino exporters and the OBMM’s sales target was exceeded during the mission.