• 23 PH firms join Dubai food event


    Country seeks larger slice of global market for halal products

    Twenty-three Filipino companies are joining the FoodPhilippines exhibit in the 23rd edition of Gulfood or the Gulf Food Hotel and Equipment Exhibition and Salon Culinaire to be held at the Sheikh Rashid Hall in the Dubai World Trade Center, United Arab Emirates (UAE), from February 18 to 21.

    Known as the world’s biggest food and hospitality trade event, Gulfood is a one-stop platform for the latest tastes, trends, and innovation in the international food industry. In 2017, the four-day event was participated in by about 5,000 companies and was attended by 97,000 trade buyers all over the world.

    Led by the Department of Trade and Industry-Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (DTI-CITEM), the Philippine delegation is keen in showcasing the country’s top halal-certified, healthy and organic products, including fruits and vegetables, seafood and marine products, ethnic and gourmet selections, and other functional food and beverage products.

    “We have carefully primed a roster of 23 top exporting companies in a grand showcase of the Philippines’ best product selections in the world’s biggest trade platform for food and ingredients,” said DTI-CITEM Deputy Executive Director Ma. Lourdes Mediran.

    In its upcoming participation, DTI-CITEM is looking to rake in at least $110 million in export deals as the Philippines seeks to increase its 5 percent share of the international halal market, complementing the overall government’s effort to empower its halal-certified local entrepreneurs and set up 10 halal-accreditation centers in 2018.

    DTI seeks to increase the country’s exports of halal products to $1.4 billion by next year from its current average of about $800 million annually. In the World Halal Assembly held last January, DTI forecasted that the global halal market may reach a total of $10 trillion by 2030.

    Participating companies

    Joining the delegation are Asia Brewery Inc., Brandexports Philippines Inc., Celebes Coconut Corp., Century Pacific Food Inc., Gem Foods International Inc., Krystle Exports Phils. Inc, Magic Melt Foods Inc., Mama Sita’s (Sandpiper Spices and Condiments Corp.), Marikina Food Corp., Market Reach International Resources, Mega Global Corp., and Miesto International Foods Corp.

    Also exhibiting in the FoodPhilippines pavilion are Millennium Specialty Coco Products Inc., Philippine Grocers Food Exports Inc., Pixcel Transglobal Foods Inc., Profood International Corp., Q-Phil Products International, Roxas Sigma Agriventures Inc., Sagrex Foods Inc., San Miguel Purefoods Inc., Seatrade Canning Corp., SL Agritech Corp., and Super Q.

    “Backed with these firms, we are confident this country participation will hit our sales target and significantly boost the government’s high-impact export strategy to generate more buyer interest for halal Philippine products in the GCC region,” said Mediran.

    GCC or the Gulf Cooperation Council refers to the political, social and economic alliance of six countries, namely Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, Kuwait, Oman. and Bahrain. The Muslim-domination region sits at the heart of the global halal-food market.

    Saudi Arabia remains the largest food consuming GCC nation because of its large population base. The fastest growth rate for food consumption, however, is seen in Qatar and UAE with an annual growth of about 5.5 and 4.8 percent, respectively. In addition, UAE alone has a market outreach to about 1.5 billion people living in the Middle East, CIS, Central Asia, Africa, and other Asian regions—making it the world’s third top re-export center. THE TIMES


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