MANILA-- The Department of Trade and Industry's Center for International Trade Expositions & Missions (DTI-CITEM) supports the country's campaign to drive up trade opportunities and inclusive growth in the ASEAN region through the International Food Exhibition (IFEX) Philippines�the biggest and most respected sourcing platform for Asian heritage food and ingredients.
DTI-CITEM cooks up a one-of-a-kind culinary expedition, featuring the historical, geographical and cultural influences behind some of Southeast Asia's distinct cuisines in the 11th edition of IFEX Philippines on May 19-21 2017 at the World Trade Center Metro Manila (WTCMM) and at the Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC).
With the theme Taste ASEAN, IFEX Philippines will showcase the region's unique tropical fruits, vegetables, fresh and processed seafood, sauces and condiments, and other food products that contribution to a vibrant food scene in global market.
As partners for change in engaging the world, DTI-CITEM envisions the upcoming IFEX Philippines 2017 as a cuisine compass for international food industry players and market buyers that want to source premium food and ingredients in the Southeast Asian region, particularly in the Philippines, said Rosvi Gaetos, CITEM Executive Director.
Last January 15, President Rodrigo Duterte officially launched the Philippines' chairmanship for the upcoming 30th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit on April 30 with the theme "Partnering for Change, Engaging the World." The summit will converge the heads of state and sectoral leaders from all over Southeast Asia in the Philippines to attend a series of events on trade and policy with the aim of forging relationships between the 10 member-countries of the ASEAN.
Towards that goal, CITEM has tapped the embassies and leading companies from ASEAN countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam, in relation to their participation in IFEX Philippines under its International Hall.
Aside from the ASEAN member states, stakeholders, partners and potential exhibitors from China, South Korea, Taiwan, and Turkey also confirmed their participation in the said hall.
At the launch of the ASEAN 2017 Business and Investment Program on 24 January, DTI expressed confidence on ASEAN as an economic powerhouse with the region being third largest market in the world with over 620 million people, the third largest economy in Asia, and the seventh largest economy in the world with a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 2.3 trillion dollars.
It has called on maximizing the opportunities and benefits from the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and reiterated the four pillars of AEC as a landscape for the dialogue with ASEAN partners in realizing the ASEAN 2025, starting with the 23rd AEM Retreat.
AEC's four pillars are the establishment of a single market and production base, a highly competitive economic region, a region of equitable economic development, and a region fully integrated into the global economy.
In the AEC Blueprint for 2025, ASEAN member states are pushed to put forward programs, events or interventions, such as IFEX Philippines 2017, that strategically develops and promotes ASEAN as an organic food production bases primed to achieve international standards.
The 2025 ASEAN economic roadmap also promotes engaging stakeholders on regional integration efforts, with emphasis on the sharing of best practices and expanding their reach to external markets, and the global value chains.
In 2015, IFEX Philippines recorded a 99.17 percent buyer satisfaction, and 15,000 trade buyers and visitors. During its three-day run, 700 exhibiting companies generated US$162 million worth of onsite deals Out of its total exhibitors, 123 were foreign companies from 20 different countries.
For this year's edition, CITEM is targeting to have 770 exhibitors (135 foreign) and a total export sales of US$ 118.61 million.
Source: Philippines Information Agency