Philippines sets eye on the Middle East market

Philippines sets eye on the Middle East market
Philippine booth at the Gulf Food Show in Dubai, United Arab Emirates Photo File THEOHILBIZNEWS

By THEPHILBIZNEWS STAFF

In an effort to diversify markets for PH exporters, the Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB), in coordination with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center-Middle East and Africa, is conducting an Outbound Business Matching Mission (OBMM) to the Middle East on February 12-24, 2020. The OBMM is in conjunction with Gulfood 2020 in Dubai World Trade Centre.

“We hope that through this OBMM, the Philippines will be able to explore the business environment and possible prospects in the Middle East markets and sustain networking and follow-up activities in the UAE as part of the mission legs last 2019,” DTI-Trade Promotions Group (TPG) Undersecretary Abdulgani M.  Macatoman said.

The OBMM also targets to develop and expand relationships with business, government, and multiplier organizations in Middle East countries and enhance local understanding of the current economic conditions and business opportunities.

The mission is also anchored on EMB’s aspiration to engage with high-level promotion, targeted market intelligence and business matching, and focused training and capacity building for both large companies and micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) which also echoes the thrust of the Philippine Halal Export Development and Promotion Act (PHEDP) and the Expo 2020 Dubai campaign.

Moreover, this project supports the Export Promotion for PH Food Sector which endeavors to bring Philippine cuisine, ingredients, and beverages overseas. The program’s strategy will build on Strategy No. 3 of PEDP 2018-2022 which is to design comprehensive packages of support that will be able to mainstream the Philippine food, food ingredients, and beverage sectors and encourage innovations on major Philippine commodities and niche products.

Led by Usec. Macatoman, the business delegation is composed of representatives from 11 Philippine business companies, namely: Fitrite, Inc; Fruits of Life, Inc; HDR Foods Corporation; Jocker’s Food Industries; Magic Melt Food, Inc; Marigold Manufacturing Corp; Marikina Food Corp; Pinesvill Trading FZE LTE; Pixcel Transglobal; Sagrex Food, and LBC. Also included in the delegation are Philippine Commercial Attaché for the Middle East and Africa Charmaine Mignon S. Yalong, DTI-EMB’s Senior Trade and Industry Development Specialist Myrtle Faye L. Solina, and Trade and Industry Development Specialist Al-Mahdi I. Jul-Ahmad.

The featured products for this mission are food items, sauces, spices, mixes, and condiments as well as cargo and logistics for the services.

Macatoman reiterated the need for more Philippine brands to enter the Middle East markets to cater to the demand of Filipinos living there, and to a larger extent, to penetrate the mainstream market. This mission also endeavors to deliberately promote Philippine bananas in the Middle East market, among others.

The delegation is set to have business matching events, market scanning, store visits, meetings with government authorities and a visit to Gulfood 2020.

“As part of the OBMM’s activities, the PH exporters will be engaged in B2B meetings with prospective buyers which will give them knowledge of the market requirements in terms of volume, quality, and price. It will bolster and increase exports of food and non-food products and services to GCC countries,” DTI-EMB Director Senen M. Perlada said.

Gulfood is the world’s largest annual food, beverage, and hospitality exhibition which attracts F&B professionals from all over the world to Dubai – a hub for international trade and commerce. It is also celebrating its 24th edition this year.

In January – November 2019, the Philippines exported USD 720.1M worth of goods to the Middle East and imported USD 3,298.8M of goods. Among the top products exported by the country were bananas, including plantains, fresh or dried (USD 211.9M), Input or output units, whether or not containing storage units in the same housing (USD 64.0M), other bread, pastry, cakes, biscuits and other baker’s wares, whether or not containing cocoa (USD 41.3M), pineapples, fresh or dried (USD 38.1M), and video projectors (USD 22.1M).

On the other hand, the country’s top imported products from the Middle East in the same period were petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude (USD 2,112.6M), light petroleum oils and preparations thereof (USD 225.9M), propane, liquified (USD 126.6M), butanes, liquified (USD 120.9M), and aeroplanes and other aircraft, of an unladen weight not exceeding 2,000 kg (USD 72.7M).

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