The Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) celebrates another milestone for the food export industry as the Philippines’ hybrid event participation in the Chinese International Import Expo (CIIE) held last November 5-10, 2021 at the National Exhibition Center in Shanghai, China delivered over USD597.34 Million worth of onsite export sales.
China stands as the leading export trade partner of the Philippines representing approximately 27% of the country’s total exports. Last year, the trade show participation grossed USD462 Million worth of onsite export sales, of which USD455.689 Million worth of export deals came from signings and commitments and USD6.17 Million worth of onsite booked sales and business matching activities. Outperforming last year, this year resulted in 29.3% growth for onsite export sales. A significant amount of export deals came from Memorandum of Understanding sales, amounting to USD575.03 million from signings and commitments. A total of USD22.31 million came from sales booked and inquiries on the trade floor and business matching activities organized by the Department of Trade (DTI) Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) and Food2China.
“This year’s results show the continuously growing trade relationship between the Philippines and China. We are grateful to have the opportunity to showcase outstanding Filipino food products in the international market and are looking forward to expanding this relationship in other industries,” according to DTI Undersecretary for Trade Promotions Group (TPG) Abdulgani Macatoman.
The Philippine delegation was represented under the FOODPhilippines signature brand of CITEM. Highlighting the Philippines as a source for healthy and organic products, the country’s pavilion housed 40 local companies that exhibited a range of tropical fruits, processed fruits and vegetables, healthy snacks, seafood and marine products, and other premium food products.
“The Philippines is a great sourcing destination for food products because of its diverse agricultural landscapes and rich gastronomy. Especially with this pandemic, the demand for healthy products is high and the country is poised to be a leader in this category,” said CITEM Executive Director Pauline Suaco-Juan.
“Our promotion of Philippine food to China and other countries does not end with our participation in CIIE. We are continuously promoting our export products 24/7, anytime anywhere through IFEXConnect.cn, our B2B platform for food exporters, and FOODPhilippines.cn, our community platform for Filipino food. These websites allow us to widen our reach and strengthen our engagement across the globe. Buyers and food enthusiasts who want to know more about Philippine food are welcome to check out our platforms,” added Suaco-Juan.
The Philippine participation in the CIIE is organized in partnership with the Foreign Trade Service Corps (FTSC) through the Philippine Trade and Investment Centers in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong, EMB and Liwayway Corporation. The delegation partners include the Department of Agriculture (DA) through the Office of the Agricultural Counsellor in Beijing (DA-OAC-Beijing), the Department of Tourism in Shanghai, Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT), and the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII).
The new norm for the exhibition industry is the adoption of hybrid event formats where there is a physical exhibition or trade fair that is held but provisions for digital exploration are also integrated in order to cater to a broader audience given travel and logistical restrictions during this pandemic. From placing QR codes on shelves and making digital lookbooks and assets available for buyer consumption to organizing virtual meetings across borders, the Philippine pavilion offered user-friendly and dynamic spaces to ease the expo trade experience.
Specific for this event and the Chinese market, CITEM has also launched FOODPhilippines China Portal (https://foodphilippines.cn/ciie2021/), which is an information platform where potential buyers from China can explore the different exhibitors of CIIE and request B2B meetings. As an added value to exhibitors, CITEM has also enhanced its presence on China’s social media platforms — Weibo and WeChat, where the agency promotes Filipino products and services to a broader Chinese demographic. For year round access to more exhibitors, CITEM launched IFEXConnect (www.ifexconnect.com) last September 23 which makes thousands of Filipino export goods more discoverable and accessible to a global audience.
The country’s food sector was represented by 40 Filipino companies namely: AG Grays Farm, Agrinurture Inc., Avante Agri-Products Philippines Inc., B&C Healthy Snack Foods Inc, Castillo Import Export Ventures Inc, Century International (China) Co., CJ Uniworld Corp., Century Pacific Agricultural Ventures Inc., DOLE Asia Holdings Pte Ltd, DOLE Packaged Foods (Shanghai) Co. Ltd, Eau de Coco, Eng Seng Food Products, Excellent Quality Goods Supply Co., Fisher Farms, Gerb Golden Hands Trading, Good Sense Food & Juices Corporation, Hancole Corporation, Hijo Resources Corporation, Innovative Packaging, Island Fun Inc, Jegen S.W.E. Enterprises, JNRM Corporation, Jugard Foods Co. Ltd., M. Lhuillier Food Products, Magic Melt Foods Corp, Marigold Manufacturing Corporation, Monde Nissin, Nutri Asia, Oleofats Incorporated, Orich International Traders Inc, Raspina Tropical Fruits Inc, Republic Biscuit Corporation, S&W Fine Foods, See’s International Food Manufacturing Corp., Sunnjef Plantation Inc, Tanduay Distillers Inc, Team Asia Corporation, Uni Steady, Vegetari Vegetarian Products, and Weambard International Technology Inc.