The export promotion arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is set to further expand the trade relationship between the Philippines and the European Union (EU) as it leads a delegation of food exporters in Anuga on October 7-11 at the Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany.
The Center for International Trade and Expositions and Missions (CITEM) is set to feature the country’s export-competitive products from 19 food companies under the FoodPHILIPPINES industry brand.
“The Philippines’ participation in Anuga is part of DTI’s overarching efforts to step up the export drive in EU member states and take advantage of the Philippines’ zero tariff privileges under the EU’s current Generalized System of Preferences Plus or GSP+ scheme,” said CITEM Executive Director Clayton Tugonon.
Known as the world’s largest and most important food and beverage fair, Anuga presents a combination of 10 specialized trade shows under one roof, showcasing the diverse product selection in the global food industry. This year, around 160,000 visitors are expected to join the five-day event to check out the latest and most innovative products from around 7,200 global exhibitors.
In 2015, 35 Philippine companies netted $67.7 million export sales in Anuga. For 2017, DTI-CITEM is targeting $62 million.
“Despite coming with a smaller delegation, we are not pulling any stops with our high export target. We have carefully selected 19 food companies that are primed for the European market, each capable of showcasing the best of what the Philippines have to offer,” said Tugonon.
Aside from food tasting activities, the Philippine delegation will also participate in business-matching activities during the event.
The EU is ranked as the Philippines’ 4th largest trading partner, 3rd largest import source, and 4th largest export market.
In 2016, the Philippines’ external trade in goods with the EU states totaled to $13.713 billion or 9.7 percent share of the country’s total trade, based on data of Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). Exports to the EU reached $6.970 billion or 12.1 percent of the total export receipts, while imports were valued at $6.743 billion or 8 percent share to total import, resulting to a balance of trade in goods (BOT-G) surplus of $227.74 million.
Among the EU-member countries, Germany is the Philippines’ top trading partner with a total trade of $4.357 billion or 31.8 percent of EU’s total trade. Revenue from export to Germany amounted to $2.329 billion while payments for imports were worth $2.028 billion or a trade surplus of $301.32 million
Within the EU, ninety percent of EU-Philippine trade is concentrated among eight EU member-states—Germany, France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Belgium, and Denmark.
As of now, the Philippines is enjoying a special trade arrangement and incentives with European countries as one of the 30 countries listed under EU’s Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP). Under the EU GSP, developing countries can export goods with reduced tariffs entering the EU to stimulate economic growth and job creation in their economies. The Philippines avail itself of the zero preferential duties on 6,274 products going to EU states.