The Department of Trade and Industry is targeting to generate at least $500 million in sales from the participation of 46 Filipino firms at the annual China International Import Expo (CIIE).


DTI Undersecretary Ramon M. Lopez said that since the very first CIIE in 2018, the Philippines has successfully been able to grow the value of signed business agreements year-on-year. “This year, we are targeting at least $500 million worth of agreements off the strength and quality of our food products,” said Lopez.

“We are optimistic of reaching this target for this year’s expo as we have seen that overall Philippine exports to China have increased from 2015 in $2.09 billion to $4.15 billion last year in 2020. These figures even exceeded pre-pandemic levels of $4.0 billion in 2019,” said Lopez.

Last year, the Philippines successfully agreed on the importation of coconuts and their by-products along with other fruits like bananas, pineapples, avocados, and papayas. This resulted in business leads with a total value of around $462.36 million, including several Memoranda of Understanding, Purchase Orders, and Letters of Intent with China.

The 46 Filipino companies joined more than 3,000 enterprises from 127 countries at the annual CIIE, which ran from 5-10 this month, November, to explore trade and sales opportunities with the world’s largest market.

Already on its 4th year, the CIIEcontinues to be a tremendous opportunity and trading platform for Philippine products to be introduced to the Chinese market and other international partners present.

Based on the previous successful participation, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is determined to strengthen the food export potential of the Philippines and grow trade with China.

With a population of over 1.4 billion and a middle-income group of more than 400 million people, the world’s largest population, China is the second largest economy, as well as the second largest importer and consumer in the world. It’s annual import in goods and services is valued at around $2.5 trillion.

Now that China is entering a new development stage at which consumption keeps increasing, potential for growth of imports will continue to increase as well. In the next five years, China is expecting to import products and services valuing more than $10 trillion, which provides opportunities for enterprises in the Philippines who want to enter the Chinese market.

Additionally, China will be laying more emphasis on expanding import, and pursue balanced development of trade. It looks to open more demonstration zones for creative promotion of import trade, optimize the catalogue of retail imports via cross-border e-commerce, encourage the on-site processing of imported goods from trading between border residents, and increase imports from neighboring countries.

With China’s growing appetite for quality products, the 46 Philippine companies in CIIE are currently showcasing themselves as world-class sources of food products to grow exports and set themselves up for the economic rebound in 2022 and the coming years.

Filipino exhibitors in CIIE 2021 include Tanduay Distillers, DOLE, Nutri-Asia, and Rebisco.

Of the 46 Filipino exhibitors in the CIIE, 20 have already been successfully matched with Chinese enterprises even before the beginning of the expo. This is part of Bank of China’s cross-border trade andinvestment matchmaking services for small and medium-sized companies to helpbusinesses better integrate into global capital, value, and industry chains.

“The Philippines continues to be a valuable trade partner of China, especially when it comes to organic and nutritious foodstuffs,” said Deng Jun, Country Head of Bank of China Manila. “And we are more than happy to not only assist Filipino and Chinese enterprises to expand their businesses, but to also establish trading partnerships and strengthen bilateral relationships between the two nations,” said Deng Jun.

The CIIE Bureau and Bank of China arranged several large matchmaking conferencesduring the expo, where one-on-one meetings will between buyers and exhibitors were supported with services such as interpretation and video streams. This includes the Philippine Investment Forum held in Shanghai where Bank of China Manila, in partnership with DTI, promoted potential investments in the Philippines to more than 200 attendees from companies of the Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park Group.

“In the past three years, these on-site matchmaking conferences have helped morethan 3,000 exhibitors and 7,000 buyers reach deals or future cooperationagreements,” said Liu Wei, General Manager of the Inclusive Finance Department atBank of China Shanghai.

Source: Manila Bulletin (