EventsPress Release

Gulfood 2024 welcomes 25 Filipino food exhibitors with focus on health and wellness

MANILA, PHILIPPINES  — FOODPhilippines returned to the 29th edition of Gulfood on February 19, as the world’s biggest annual food and beverage sourcing event kicked off at the Dubai World Trade Centre in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). Central to the Philippines’ participation was food and ingredients focused on health and wellness, brought by 25 food exhibitors banning the theme “Healthy and Convenient Food Options.”

CITEM Executive Director Edward Fereira (seventh from left) served as the head of the Philippine delegation at Gulfood 2024. Joining him at the National Pavilion opening ceremony were (front row, from left to right) CITEM Overseas Trade Fairs and Buyer Team Campaign OIC Atty. Eva Mariquina, Tuguegarao City Mayor Maila Ting Que, Tuguegarao City Councilors Jude Bayona and Grace Arago (back row), Mr. Abdulrazagh Mohammad, Philippine Ambassador to the UAE H.E. Alfonso Ferdinand Ver, DTI-EMB Director Bianca Sykimte, Vice Consul Aleah Gica, Consul General Marford Angeles, and Commercial Attache Charmaine Yalong.

Seeking to penetrate the fast-changing food landscape in the UAE, the delegation capitalized on the current trend fostering healthy and easy eating across the region. The Philippine Pavilion housed an array of nutritious food products, from plant-based snacks and healthy snack bars to fresh-cut fruits and vegetables, as well as ready-to-cook meals.

Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) Executive Director Dr. Edward Fereira underscored how important it is for the Philippines to consistently maintain its presence in the global market, especially in the MEA region.

Visitors flock to the Philippine Pavilion to check out a fine selection of nutritious and delectable food products.

“As you know very well, the UAE cradles a market ripe with potential for trade and investment. With rich natural resources and a thriving economy fueled by an invaluable workforce, the Philippines is more than capable to play in big league shows such as Gulfood and cater to the growing international demand,” he explained.

A recent study showed that the UAE food and beverage market is currently pegged at USD 20 billion. This figure is expected to double by 2029. Several factors are at play, but most could be attributed to the growing expat population and high-income consumer base within the region.

Dr. Fereira has, likewise, extended his gratitude to Gulfood for providing an avenue for Philippine food exporters to showcase their products.

“Ticking off its 29th edition, Gulfood has become a catalyst to the vibrant landscape of the global food industry. It is a culmination of the industry movers’ collective effort towards a culture of excellence and innovation,” he said.

Apart from its food offerings, the Philippine Pavilion facilitated matchmaking services and business-to-business (B2B) meetings between Philippine food exhibitors and foreign trade buyers during the 5-day trade show.

The Philippines’ participation in Gulfood was made possible by CITEM, an attached agency of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), along with DTI – Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB), and the Philippine Trade and Investment Center in Dubai (PTIC-Dubai).

CITEM is also set to hold IFEX Philippines, the country’s biggest international trade show for food and ingredients, from May 10 to 12 at the World Trade Center Metro Manila in Pasay City, Philippines.

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