The Foreign Trade Service Officers successfully conducted their regional planning consecutively held from 03-13 December 2018 to discuss and review strategies in promoting Trabaho, Negosyo, Kabuhayan (TNK) goes Global program for overseas Filipinos, Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP), and the country’s Investment Priorities Plan to improve the Philippines’ trade relations and increase investments for the year 2019 onward, among others.

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Date of Release: December 2018

The Department of Trade and Industry’s Trade and Investments Promotion Group (DTI-TIPG) and the Philippine Trade and Investment Center in Tokyo (PTIC-Tokyo) shared promising developments for Philippine cacao beans as it enters the mainstream Japanese market through the newly-produced chocolate made by Isetan Mitsukoshi.
Isetan Mitsukoshi Group, Japan's largest department store group, developed a new chocolate brand named Nayuta Chocolatasia. The product formulated to match the Asian palate, is made from cacao beans sourced from four Southeast Asian countries: Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.
The Philippine cacao beans were sourced from a Davao-based plantation, Philippine’s Plantacion de Sikwate Cacao Producers Association.
As part of Isetan’s Mitsukoshi’s strong campaign for the said chocolate, they are currently running a six-month promotional campaign through a chocolate fair called Salon du Chocolat at their Shinjuku store.
“The presence of Philippine cacao beans in the mainstream Japanese market is a clear manifestation that our produce are truly world-class. With sufficient support and aggressive marketing strategies being implemented by various private and public sector partners, we hope more and more Philippine goods will join the global market,” said DTI Trade and Investments Promotion Group Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado.
According to the Philippine Department of Agriculture, the global demand for cocoa is estimated to reach between 4.7 million to 5 million metric tons by 2020. However, it is also predicted to reach a global shortage at 1 million MT in the same year.
“We see a lot of budding local manufacturers and producers of cacao in the country. We, at DTI, continue to urge them to join trade fairs and avail support services that help them in accessing not just domestic but as well as international markets such as Japan. In this way, we will be able to mainstream Philippine produce while we continue to build the country’s brand globally,” said DTI Trade and Investments Promotion Group Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado.
Undersecretary Terrado also urged producers to tap the DTI and its wide-range of support services with its Philippine Trade and Investment Centers (PTICs) abroad. “DTI assists Philippine companies especially micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in getting a glimpse of emerging trends and slowly test and introduce the acceptability of their products in the international market,” Terrado added.
Current efforts and initiatives in developing the Philippine cacao industry are mostly focused in Mindanao, which accounts for 90% of the Philippine cacao production, with 80% coming from the Davao Region alone.

DTI, through its Shared Service Facilities (SSF) program, has provided 16 cacao-processing facilities in various regions that aim to equip and accelerate MSMEs’ competitiveness by giving them access to energy efficient technologies and sophisticated equipment in their production.♦PH cacao in Japan
PH cacao in Japan 2

In a recent seminar co-organized by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the ASEAN Japan Center (AJC) entitled “Changing Trade and Investment Landscape in ASEAN and the Philippines”, DTI Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado cited the importance of global value chains and non-equity mode (NEM) in the growth of Philippine exports.

“NEM is of particular importance to the country given our participation to activities such as IT-BPO, international subcontracting, franchising and licensing among others,” said Terrado.

Meanwhile, global value chains for international production translate to the different stages of the production process across different countries. This allows outsourcing and offshoring of activities of many multinational enterprises (MNEs).

AJC Secretary General Masataka Fujita and Dr. Chie Iguchi from Keio University led the presentation of three (3) AJC-initiated papers namely, “Global Value Chains in ASEAN: A Regional Perspective”; “Global Value Chains in ASEAN: The Philippines”; and “Non-Equity Modes of Trade in ASEAN: The Philippines.”

The papers provide valuable perspectives on the strategic importance of participation in global and regional value chains as ASEAN member states maximize opportunities and benefits of economic integration while recognizing differences in economic development and industrial policies, and the growing threat of protectionism.

To further substantiate the initial findings in the paper, interactive dialogues were conducted between AJC and a panel of discussants including Ambassador of Myanmar to the Philippines H.E. U Win Naing, First Secretary Jenni McEwin of the Australian Embassy in the Philippines and Director Senen M. Perlada of the DTI-Export Marketing Bureau. Meanwhile, representatives from the academe include Dr. Joseph T. Yap, Dr. Ramon L. Clarete of the University of the Philippines School of Economics, Dr. Francis Mark A. Quimba of the Philippine Institute of Development Studies, and private sector representative, Executive Director Penny S. Bongato of the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP).

More than 150 representatives from government, industry, and think tanks participated in said seminar.♦

 DTI AJC Seminar 1
In photo (from left to right): DTI Export Marketing Director Senen M. Perlada, Dr. Chie Iguchi from Keio University, Executive Director Penny S. Bongato of IBPAP, AJC Secretary General Masataka Fujita, DTI Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado, Mr. Shozo Suzuki,  Investment and EPA Advisor JETRO, Dr. Ramon L. Clarete of the University of the Philippines School of Economics, Dr. Francis Mark A. Quimba of the Philippine Institute of Development Studies and First Secretary Jenni McEwin of the Australian Embassy in the Philippines.


 DTI AJC Seminar 2
In photo (from left to right): His Excellency U Win Naing, Ambassador of Myanmar to the Philippines, AJC Secretary General Masataka Fujita, First Secretary Jenni McEwin of the Australian Embassy in the Philippines, Dr. Joseph T. Yap of the University of the Philippines School of Economics, and Dr. Francis Mark A. Quimba of the Philippine Institute of Development Studies.
The Department of Trade and Industry’s Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (DTI-CITEM) seeks to augment the Philippines’ trade relations with Japan as it showcases the country’s finest tropical flavors in the largest food fair in the Asia-Pacific region.
Under Food Philippines brand, DTI-CITEM will bring the country’s top exporters of tropical fruits, beverages and other processed food in the 43rd International Food and Beverage Exhibition, popularly known as FOODEX Japan, on 6-9 March at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan.
“Japanese people are no stranger to us. We know that they have a penchant for our tropical fruits and that is what we are looking to showcase as we return to FOODEX,” said Nora K. Terrado, DTI Undersecretary for Trade and Investments Promotion and CITEM Officer-in-Charge (OIC).
“We will also feature other tropical food and ingredients to widen the line of Philippine products shipped to Japan and promote the country as a premier sourcing destination,” added Terrado.
FOODEX is known as a major gateway to the Japanese market. Last year, the four-day event welcomed over 3,000 local and international exhibitors, as well as more than 82,000 buyers from the food manufacturing, service, distribution, and trading sectors across the global food industry.
Aside from Japan, FOODEX is also vastly participated in by buyers from major regions, such as Europe, America, Africa and Australia.
In 2017, 17 local firms under the Food Philippines pavilion bagged $7.4M worth of export sales. For this upcoming participation, CITEM seeks to generate at least US$ 10 million export sales from buyers around the world.
Japan is the Philippines’ largest export destination for fresh foods and the second largest market for processed food, next to the United States. According to preliminary reports from Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Japan is among the top export destinations of the country with 16.20% total share to the country’s total merchandise exports for the period January to December 2017.
With the existing Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA), Japan provides an attractive and vast market for Philippine food suppliers to serve the retail, food service, and manufacturing industries.
The country’s participation in FOODEX Japan 2018 is being organized by CITEM, in partnership with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) in Tokyo and Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC), as part of the DTI’s major efforts to intensify the promotion of Philippine specialty food products in overseas trade shows.♦
Japan remains the top destination for Philippine bananas, reaching up to US$231.3 million export sales in 2016.
DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez (left) with Japanese Trade Minister Hiroshige Seko at the sidelines of the 49th ASEAN Economic Ministers’ (AEM) Meeting in Pasay City last 9 September.

As part of the continued cooperation between the Philippines (PH) and Japan (JP), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon M. Lopez met his Japanese counterpart, Economy, Trade, and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko in a bilateral meeting held on 9 September 2017 at the sidelines of the Philippine hosting of the 49th ASEAN Economic Ministers’ (AEM) Meeting and Related Meetings in Pasay City.

The meeting commenced with a turnover of “Japan’s Inputs Towards the Formulation of Industry Vision of the Philippines,” an industrial development scenario for PH under the Philippines-Japan Industrial Cooperation Dialogue, which will contribute to the finalization of PH’s inclusive, innovation-led, industrial strategy (i3s).

“This will help the Philippines fine-tune its inclusive and innovation-led industry strategy, as well as contribute to the realization of the government’s vision of no one left poor,” said Sec. Lopez.

Industry cooperation initiatives will enable PH to take advantage of JP’s expertise and experience as PH adopts these in the local industry setting. Further improvements to PH’s i3s will help upgrade local industries, allow them to better participate in global value chains, and create more, better, and higher value jobs for Filipinos.

PH also expressed its support to JP’s proposal on the introduction of rules in e-commerce and internet protocol (IP).

Substantive discussions were also held on improving market access for top PH exports through the General Review of the Philippines-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (PJEPA) during the scheduled 6thJoint Committee Meeting this September, as well as on exerting utmost efforts to achieve substantial outcomes for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement under the Philippines’ ASEAN Chairmanship this year.

Minister Seko raised the potential effects of public enterprises under RCEP to small and medium enterprises. Sec. Lopez said that these issues must be monitored to ensure that industries are protected.

PH thanked JP for its willingness to meet for the PJEPA Joint Committee Meeting, which has prime importance to move forward with the discussions on tariff preferences, particularly for products of interest to PH such as bananas, mangoes, and pineapples.

PH also conveyed its intention to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). As an update to the status of TPP, JP shared that two negotiating rounds have been concluded between JP and Australia and both are scheduled to meet for the third time. JP is confident that the agreement in principle will be established by November.

Trade deals are expected to further boost economic and trade relations with JP, which was PH’s 2nd biggest trading partner, top export market, and 2nd largest import supplier in 2016. In particular, these trade engagements benefit exporters of top agricultural products to JP, most of which are from the Mindanao region.

Top export products from Mindanao include fruits, bananas, tuna, coconut products, fresh pineapples that comprised 60.5% of total PH exports to the world in 2016. These, together with other products included in the PH’s request for better market access to JP will further enhance competitiveness of PH exports in the Japanese market.

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