Published in Business Mirror

10 October 2017

In Photo: The Philippine country pavilion at the 14th China-Asean Expo and 14th China-Asean Business and Investment Summit in Nanning, Guangxi, China. Leading the Philippine delegation was Department of Trade and Industry Undersecretary for Trade and Investments Promotion Group Nora K. Terrado (fifth from left) with Philippine Consulate in Guangzhou Consul General Marie Charlotte Tang (second from right) and Philippine Trade and Investment Center Guangzhou Commercial Counselor John Paul Inigo.

SPEARHEADING promotion efforts under the blooming economic relations with China, the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary for Trade and Investments Promotion Group Nora K. Terrado led the Philippine Delegation to the 14th China-Asean (Caexpo) and 14th China-Asean Business and Investment Summit held from September 12 to 15 at the Nanning International Convention and Exhibition Center in Guangxi province, China.

Comprising the Philippine contingent of over 100 participants were local export companies, investment-promotion agencies (IPAs), such as the Board of Investments (BOI), Bases Conversion and Development Authority, Subic Bay Metropolitan Area, Clark Development Corp. and the Mindanao Development Authority, as well as businessmen and government sector representatives aiming to promote Philippine tourism and business opportunities to the huge Chinese and Southeast Asian market.

“This is an opportune time for the Philippines to fully present its potential as an investment destination to the Chinese market. It is also a chance for Philippine exporters to meet with potential partners and buyers of their products and services and see how they can maximize the booming trend in China,” Terrado said.

The country’s contingent in China highlighted the Philippines’s trade potential through an exhibit of products and commodities from various sectors, including home, fashion and wearables, gifts, handicraft, personal care and food.

Among the products exhibited at the 14th Caexpo were Cavendish banana and banana chips, coconut preserves and by-products, durian, cacao, coffee, sugar, pili nuts, milkfish, sardines and tuna, and other food supplements. Fashion items, such as shoes, sandals, bags and souvenir items, were also sold at the commodities hall of the Philippines.

Moreover, the Philippine participation also gave the spotlight to this year’s Philippine featured destination, the province of Aurora. Tagged as the “Province of Charm”, the Aurora provincial government led by Vice Gov. Rommel Angara, presented its booming tourism industry and economic potential particularly its agriculture sector.

“High on our agenda as we send Philippine trade missions abroad is opening more opportunities for countryside development. That is why we are happy to introduce Aurora province to the Chinese and Southeast Asian market as it has tremendous potential in the tourism and agriculture sector,” Terrado said.

At present, a primary source of growth in Aurora province is agriculture. The sector employs about half of its population with about 49,991 hectares, or 15 percent, of the provincial land area classified as cultivated farmlands. It is home to several primary products that include rice, coconut, coffee, bananas, root crops, corn, citrus fruits, peanuts and abaca. It is also among the country’s major producers of coconut-distilled alcoholic drink known as lambanog and tuba.

Terrado served as the key speaker at the China-Philippines Production Capacity and Investment Cooperation Forum coorganized by the National Development and Reform Commission of China and the National Economic and Development Authority of the Philippines.

Meanwhile, a Philippine Investment Promotion Conference was held at the sidelines of the Caexpo on September 13, jointly organized by the DTI-BOI, Center for International Trade Expositions and Mission and Philippine IPAs.

The 14th Caexpo is considered as the second-biggest trade event in China, with a total exhibition space of about 122,000 square meters with 4,600 exhibition booths and around 57,000 visitors.

Caexpo has grown into an event that plays an important role in promoting the China-Asean friendly cooperation.

For this year, Caexpo had a theme of “Jointly Build the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, Promote Regional Economic Integration through Tourism”. It highlighted the vast potential of tourism industry between Asean and China. Through this international trade fair, China eyes to connect and boost its investments in Asean countries and provide infrastructure networks particularly for micro, small, and medium enterprises to participate in the global value chain.

Philippine participation at the 14th Caexpo is in partnership with the Philippine DTI and in close collaboration with The Philippine Consulate General and the Philippine Trade and Investment Center in Guangzhou.