MANILA, PHILIPPINES — The Philippine participation in Gulfood 2022, facilitated a running total of USD 23,634,500.00 in export sales in the first four days of the expo. The Philippine delegation is still expecting to generate more sales as the event and the business-to-business (B2B) matching activities conclude. The country showcased its finest tropical food selections, top halal-certified food products, and unique local flavors at Gulfood 2022, held recently at the Sheikh Rashid Hall, Dubai World Trade Centre, United Arab Emirates (UAE) from February 13 to 17, 2022.
Led by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), this year’s delegation marks the 17th participation of the Philippines at Gulfood and is the biggest Philippine group that has joined in the global trade event. Featuring a hybrid setup, the Philippine Pavilion featured product displays with food tasting areas and meeting spaces, and interactive kiosks with QR codes providing more information about the exhibitors.
The 2022 cohort also benefited from CITEM’s updated content and lead generation platforms for the local food industry, IFEXConnect.com and FOODPhilippines.com, which provide a seamless sourcing experience for buyers and exhibitors all year-round. While all thirty-nine exhibitors got to showcase their products online, nine companies were able to exhibit onsite in Dubai.
“The Philippines is a great sourcing destination for food products because of its diverse agricultural landscapes and rich gastronomy. Especially with this pandemic, the demand for healthy and halal-certified food products is high, and the country is poised to be a leader in this category,” said CITEM Executive Director Pauline Suaco-Juan.
The Gulf Food Hotel and Equipment Exhibition Salon Culinaire, known popularly as Gulfood, is one of the world’s biggest food and hospitality industry expos. The trade and business platform provides buyers and exhibitors to strengthen their presence and foothold in the Middle East and African (MEA) region.
“Gulfood has always been a strategic platform for the Philippines and our companies to showcase our premium Halal exports to the world. This year’s participation in Gulfood is a testament to our commitment to export more halal-certified products to the world as our companies and institutions continue to develop more products and seek new ways to reach Halal consumers worldwide,” says DTI Undersecretary Abdulgani Macatoman.
Usec. Abdulgani Macatoman led the walkthrough of the Philippine Pavilion for the VIPs, which included Undersecretary Robert Eric A. Borje, Special Envoy of the President; Congressman Christopher De Venecia, Consul General Renato N. Dueñas, Department of Agriculture Secretary William Dar, Construction Industry Authority of the Philippines Assistant Secretary Noel Prudente, DTI Assistant Secretary Joan Riola, Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines Director General Roel Barba, and Board of Investments Governor Angelica Cayas. More officials attended the ceremonies in full support of Gulfood 2022 as it is also one of the business events that support the Philippine National Week in Expo Dubai.
They were also joined by the organizing team of the Philippine participation at Gulfood 2022, which included CITEM Executive Director Pauline Suaco-Juan, Export Marketing Bureau Director Christopher Lawrence Amuco, and Commercial Attache Charmaine Mignon Yalong.
Also in attendance at the ceremony is Chef JP Anglo, who recently opened Filipino restaurant Kooya in Dubai. The celebrated chef joins the movement for promoting and strengthening Filipino cuisine in the region.
The Philippine Pavilion at Gulfood 2022 showcased the products of Agrinurture, Inc., Brandexports Philippines Inc./8VX Corporation, Business Innovations Gateway, Inc., Century Pacific Food, Inc., CJ Uniworld Corp., Federation of People’s Sustainable Development Corp., Fenor Foods Corporation, Fisher Farms Inc., Fruits of Life Inc., Gem Foods International Inc., Greenlife Coconut Products Philippines Inc., Innovative Packaging Industry Corp., Janicahh Food Products, JNRM Corporation, KLT Fruits, Inc., Krystle Exports Philippines Inc., Limketkai Manufacturing Corp., MagicMelt Food Inc., Marikina Food Corporation., Market Reach International Resources, Mega Global Corporation, Miguelitos International Corporation, Pasciolco Agriventures, Peter Paul Philippines, Philippine Grocers Food Exports, Inc., Q-Phil International Trading, Sabroso Chocolate Manufacturing, SandPiper Spices and Condiments Corp., SL Agritech Corporation, Unilab Inc. /Sekaya Global, Universal Canning Inc., Cocoturmeric Health Products, KF Nutri Foods International, Inc., AG Pacific Nutriceuticals Corporation, Nutrarich Nutraceutical Innovations, Ahya Coco Organic Food Manufacturing, Gacayan General Merchandise, PMTZ Care Marketing, and Malagos Agri-Ventures Corporation.
The Philippines’ participation in Gulfood builds on and strengthens the continuous demand for the country’s halal-certified food exports to the MEA region. Data from the Philippine Trade Investment Center (PTIC) in Dubai indicates that high-quality fruits such as mango, pineapple, coconut, and other fruits and plant-based products constantly enjoy high demand and meet Halal production standards.
“Our promotion of Philippine food to UAE and other countries does not end with our participation in Gulfood. We are continuously promoting our export products 24/7, anytime, anywhere through IFEXConnect.com, our B2B platform for food exporters, and FOODPhilippines.com, our leads generation and promotion platform for Filipino food. These websites allow us to widen our reach and strengthen our engagement across the globe. Buyers and food enthusiasts who want to know more about Philippine food are welcome to check out our platforms,” added Suaco-Juan.
The Philippines’ participation in Gulfood 2022 is made possible with CITEM’s partnerships with the Export Marketing Bureau (EMB), Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) in Dubai and Jeddah; the RAPID Growth Project; and the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA). The consolidated efforts of these offices are all in support of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and their recovery amid the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Following the events at Gulfood 2022, a face-to-face business-to-business (B2B) matching activity will be held on February 18, 2022, at the Jumeriah Beach Hotel, organized by the EMB in partnership with PTIC Dubai and Jeddah. There will also be an online networking event for Gulfood Digital participants from March 1 to 3, 2022 to connect Philippine exporters to prospective buyers. The initiative is organized by CITEM in partnership with the EMB and also with PTIC Dubai and Jeddah.