Food Philippines will once again generate more trade opportunities for the country when it brings halal, natural, and organic products to the “20th Gulfood: The Gulf Food Hotel and Equipment Exhibition and Salon Culinaire” slated at the Dubai World Trade Center, Dubai, UAE from February 8 to 12. A select group of Philippine exhibitors will showcase processed tropical fruits and vegetables, coconut products, and ethnic and gourmet products in UAE.
Gulfood is where professionals from across the food and hospitality spectrum converge from every corner of the globe at the center of the east and west trade, with over 20,000 brands by more than 4,500 exhibitors and 81,622 visitors from 170 countries.
Spearheaded by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the export promotions arm of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Food Philippines highlights the country’s halal-certified food products and “power” fruits in its participation in the world’s biggest annual food and hospitality show.
“Favorable feedback and results from Gulfood’s last edition inspired us to continue bringing our healthy and natural food products to the world. Buyers and visitors who will troop to the 20th Gulfood can expect more from the Food Philippines since we are ready to bring our halal certified products and tropical fruits in the UAE region,” said CITEM executive director Rosvi Gaetos.
With trade amounting to millions of US dollars per year, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been in the top list of the Philippines’ leading trading partners—both as export market and as import supplier of different consumer products.
The global halal trade is estimated to be worth $2.3 trillion. While halal food products have a ready market among the world’s Muslim population estimated at around 2 billion, halal food is consumed by even non-Muslim consumers because it has become synonymous with the highest standards of food safety. The increasing demand for halal-certified products in UAE and in the international market poses a huge opportunity for Philippine exporters. The Philippine Export Development Plan identifies halal food exports as one of the growth areas that could trigger a 30 percent increase in the export figures for food by 2016.
The Philippines’ power fruits such as banana, coconut, mango, and pineapple will also take the spotlight at Gulfood, promoting well-being and quality lifestyle with their numerous health benefits. Philippines’ tropical fruits are considered to be among the best-tasting fruits in the world, owing to the country’s tropical weather and rich soil. These are preferred by consumers because of their distinct flavor, aroma, texture, and color.
By 2020, the Gulf Cooperation Council is predicted to be an important economic and trading hub with a $2 trillion economy. The region’s population is expected to grow from 417.7 million in 2010 to 49.9 million in 2017, increasing the food demand and consumption in the Middle East. This increase marks an emerging market potential for the collective food exports brand Food Philippines.
Food Philippines is a branding initiative that ensures food products made of quality, healthy, natural ingredients are derived from the Philippines’ tropical islands. It unifies the overseas promotional efforts of CITEM. Under this national brand, the Philippines is positioned as Asia’s most exciting sourcing destination for food exports, being one of the world’s top exporters of fresh fruits and marine products.