CITEM Cites Opportunities in Exports

Article excerpt

MANILA, Philippines - The country's export marketing authority is urging the local industry to take advantage of a looming food export boom in Asia, which has emerged as the world's leading tropical food source, supplier and consumer all at the same time.

Citing Asia's lion's share in the global trade of tropical fruits, aquaculture products, halal, organic and natural food, the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) is spearheading the local industry's foray into a new world market that is making the East practically its hub.

CITEM Executive Director Rosvi C. Gaetos said such developments had prompted the government to rethink its position and focus its export strategies and efforts on Asia, both as a priority market and as a major regional trading bloc for the rest of the world.

"We are now promoting our food exports for intra-Asian and inter-regional trade as part of the Asian

bloc," Gaetos explained, citing it as the reason for the transformation of the country's International Food Exhibition (IFEX) from a Philippine to Asian global marketing event.

"That means IFEX Philippines will unprecedentedly have many other Asian exhibitors, aside from Filipino firms, but all the more we need local participants for our industry to take full advantage of its benefits," Gaetos stressed.

"So we are inviting to IFEX Philippines all our local food manufacturers, retailers, consolidators, agents, distributors, cooperatives, institutional suppliers, people's organizations, and government and allied industries such as franchises, hotels and restaurants, retail chains, culinary schools, shipping, packaging, refrigeration, post-harvest systems, machinery and equipment suppliers, among others," Gaetos pointed out.

She said a complete product development program and packaging assistance would be made available to the participating regional micro, small and medium enterprises of a partner province under the show's Partner Region Program. …