The Philippines and China share a long and rich trade history that spans centuries. To celebrate and fortify the enduring ties between the two countries, a bigger and stronger Philippine delegation returns to the 5th China International Import Expo (CIIE) at the National Exhibition and Convention Center, Shanghai, China, from November 5 to 10, 2022.
Led by the Center for Trade and Exposition and Missions (CITEM), the export promotion arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Philippines’ hybrid participation aims to promote the country as a reliable sourcing destination for premium quality products.
The Philippine delegation consists of 62 companies—56 food companies and 6 non-food coconut companies. This is the largest number of exhibitors to date since the country joined CIIE’s maiden edition in 2018.
“As the largest import-themed trade fair in the world, CIIE offers tremendous opportunities for Filipino exporters. Joining CIIE has consistently yielded positive results, with our participation in 2021 generating a record high US$ 590 million in sales. With a larger delegation this year, we hope to continue this trend and reach more buyers,” said CITEM Deputy Executive Director Ma. Lourdes D. Mediran.
In the last six years, China has remained the Philippines’ top trading partner. Total trade between the Philippines and China reached US$ 38.3 billion in 2021, with exports to China reaching an all-time high of US$ 12 billion. Top food exports to China include bananas, pineapples, fruits and nuts, live fish, and desiccated coconuts.
“With China being one of the world’s largest economies today, the Philippines’ participation in CIIE is extremely strategic. Aside from strengthening our trade relations with China, ultimately we want to secure a bigger share of the fast-growing China market and establish our position as a major exporter in the region,” said Mediran.
Shifting Into a Higher Gear
Aside from having the largest number of exhibitors, the Philippine Pavilion this year acquired a total space of 168 sqm, a bigger space than last year’s edition. The Philippines’ participation in the CIIE is seen to provide an opportunity to ramp up trade with China, in line with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. previous statement on the country’s relations with China set to “shift to a higher gear.” According to the organizers, the Philippines’ hybrid participation also ensures that both digital platforms and the country’s onsite pavilion are maximized to reach a wider audience and establish new trade partnerships.
With an average of 150,000 professional buyers and more than 100 participating countries, the CIIE offers new channels to promote Filipino products and services to China market and the rest of the world. More than 280 Fortune Global 500 companies and industry leaders are also joining the enterprise exhibition at the CIIE this year.
In addition, the Philippines’ participation in the CIIE sets the tone and direction toward greater cooperation in priority industries. In line with its push for industrial transformation, DTI recently reconfigured the export industry into four industrial clusters: the industrial, manufacturing and transport (IMT) cluster; the technology, media and telecommunication (TMT) cluster; the health and life science (HLS) cluster; and the major basic needs, resilient economy cluster. With the staging of CIIE in China’s richest city, DTI sees the expo as an excellent platform for promoting these enhanced trade initiatives.
A Festival of Island Flavors
FOODPhilippines, in collaboration with CoconutPhilippines and Liwayway Marketing Corporation, takes visitors on an exciting tropical escape through the Philippine Pavilion at the 5th CIIE with the theme “Festival of Island Flavors.” While the Philippines has always participated in every CIIE edition, this is the first time that FOODPhilippines, CoconutPhilippines, and Liwayway Marketing Corp. are exhibiting together under the Philippine Pavilion, marking an important milestone in a collective effort to bring Philippine products to the China market.
With a wide-range offering of food products, the pavilion aims not only to showcase the rich and colorful Filipino culture but also to highlight the shared roots of the Philippines and China as a take-off point for a stronger trade relationship.
The Philippine Pavilion demonstrates how Filipino food reflects the country’s vibrant culture, highlighting its unique qualities as a tropical archipelago in an increasingly competitive international market. From fun and exciting snacks to healthy and natural food options, the Philippine Pavilion showcases a diverse selection of uniquely Filipino food that is likely to appeal to the Chinese market. It also features new offerings such as specialty coffee from Mindanao and an all-new promotion on coconut-based goods.
As the country’s collective food promotion program run by CITEM, FOODPhilippines continues to highlight healthy and natural food selections, with a focus on coffee and cacao. The pandemic has accelerated the shift toward plant-based and healthier diets, and the Philippines is looking to meet the demand of this rapidly growing market.
According to a recent study conducted by the International Trade Centre (ITC), the Philippines has US$ 76.95 million in unrealized export potential to China, with coconut as one of the products with the highest export potential. Anchored on the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan (CFIDP), CoconutPhilippines showcases the versatility and nutritional benefits of the coconut, one of the country’s top food exports. This also aims to reinforce the Philippines’ reputation as one of the world’s largest coconut producers, ranking third in 2021.
CoconutPhilippines, organized by the DTI-Export Marketing Bureau (EMB), features both food products such as coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut cream, and virgin coconut oil, as well as non-food products such as activated carbon, coconut fiber-based products for handicrafts, horticulture, and bio-engineering, as well as coffee and cacao.
Liwayway Marketing Corp., the company behind the successful snack brand Oishi, is collaborating with FOODPhilippines for the second time. Liwayway has also been a mainstay at the CIIE, where it has been cited for its creativity in hosting fun activities and interactive games to promote its iconic products like Oishi Prawn Crackers and Marty’s Cracklin’ Vegetarian Chicharon. Under Oishi, Liwayway brings together their brands and partner brands, with products such as sour “Gao Le Gao” cocoa powder to be mixed with Philippine specialty coffee and “Rougemont” mango juice drink mixed with Philippine coconut rum, among others. With its popularity among Chinese buyers, Oishi is expected to draw crowds and provide an experiential showcase of products at the Philippine Pavilion.
The Philippines’ physical and virtual participation is led by the Philippines’ Department of Trade and Industry through its export promotion arm, the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM). It is co-organized with the Foreign Trade Service Corps (FTSC) through the Philippine Trade and Investment Center-Shanghai (PTIC-Shanghai), the Export Marketing Bureau (EMB), together with partner agencies, the Department of Agriculture (DA) through the Office of the Agricultural Counsellor in Beijing (OAC-Beijing), and the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT).
FOODPhilippines’ Country Pavilion will be in Hall 1.1, with Booth Number C8-01 at the National Exhibition and Convention Center, Shanghai, China, from November 5 to 10, 2022. To know more about FOODPhilippines, visit foodphilippines.com or follow us on social media.