26 PH exporters seek presence in Gulf state

Twenty-six Philippine exporters engaged in Halal-certified food, personal care, and cosmetic products are seeking to market presence in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries,

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), through the Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) and the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC)-Dubai, organizes an Outbound Business Matching Mission (OBMM) to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries on 11-25 February 2023. The Delegation will include 26 Philippine exporters of which aims to strengthen their presence and maximize opportunities in the GCC region.

In a statement, the DTI said that the GCC Mission will cover Manama, Bahrain (11-13 February) Kuwait City, Kuwait (13-14 February) Doha, Qatar (14-16 February) and will culminate in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (16-25 February), in time for Gulfood 2023.

Gulfood is the world's most extensive annual food and beverage sourcing event. To complement the Philippine participation in Gulfood led by the Center for International Trade Exhibition and Missions (CITEM), EMB conducts additional business-to-business matching activity to maximize opportunities for participating exporters. This also provides an opportunity for exporters who are not part of the Philippine delegation in Gulfood to meet buyers from the region.

Philippine food companies participating in the OBMM include Cattleya & Rose Gourmet Foods Trading, Eng Seng Food Products, Francoeur Merchandising, Franklin Baker Company of the Philippines, Fruits of Life, Inc, G5 International Corporation, Good Sense Food and Juices Corporation, Innovative Packaging Industry Corporation, Jamla Corporation, La Carlota Food Enterprise, Liwayway Marketing Corporation, Lorenzana Food Corporation, Mega Global Corporation, Mica By The Sea Company, Miguelitos International Corporation, Pasciolco Agri Ventures, Pearl Foods International Inc., Pixcel Transglobal Foods Inc, Sagrex Foods Inc., Sandbox Middle East, See's International Food Mfg. Corp., Turn Fruit Trading DMCC, and Villa Socorro Farm.

Cosmetics and personal care exporters include C and H Cosmetics Industry, Greenstone Pharmaceutical, Inc., and Jegen SWE Enterprises. LBC Solutions Middle East a Service and Business Solutions is also part of the Philippine delegation.

The GCC market serves as an important launchpad and driver for the internationalization of Philippine MSMEs, especially for halal exporters due to its unique market characteristics. It hosts roughly half of the total number of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) which serves as an anchor market for Philippine products abroad, especially for food and personal care products. It also serves as a good market for both mainstream and niche products given its cultural and economic diversity. It is one of the largest markets for halal food products with its large Muslim population.

In 2021, the United Arab Emirates accounted for 61.48 percent of Philippine exports to the GCC, followed by Saudi Arabia (18.38%) and Qatar (10.69%).

“The Philippines is continuously strengthening its halal ecosystem to be able to better serve the growing global halal market. The mission aims to contribute to increased understanding of Philippine exporters on the halal market in the GCC, especially for the 15 exporters who are first time participants to the OBMM,” DTI- Trade Promotion Group (TPG) Assistant Secretary Glenn Peñaranda said.