|Briefing for IFEX 2013 held in Philippine Embassy in Brunei Darussalam|
The Philippine Embassy in Brunei Darussalam and the Department of Trade and Industry kicked off their promotional blitz for the International Food Exhibition (IFEX) 2013 through a briefing for Brunei food companies at the Philippine Chancery in Brunei Darussalam on 9 April 2012.
The DTII delegation was composed of Trade Attaché Alma Argayoso from the Philippine Embassy in Jakarta; Ms. Leah Ocampo, Head, Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM); and Ms. Chol Dela Paz, Senior Trade and Industry Development Specialist, CITEM.
The 9th International Food Exhibition (IFEX) Philippines, the country's most important trade event for food is billed as "Asia's Ethnic Food and Ingredients Show" and will feature a larger showcase of fresh, processed, halal, and organic Asian food products. IFEX Philippines 2013 shall be held on 16-19 May 2013 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.
In his remarks, Philippine Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Nestor Z. Ochoa welcomed the Brunei company representatives and media participants who attended the Briefing on IFEX Philippines 2013.
"The Philippine Embassy is very pleased to organize-on behalf of our delegation from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-this briefing to tell you more about the IFEX, the biggest government-sponsored international food and beverage show in the Philippines, he stated.
Ambassador Ochoa noted that the Philippines and Brunei are more than close neighbors with intertwined histories, same time zone, and common regional interests. "Our peoples both share a passion for food," he observed.
He further pointed out that for Filipinos and Bruneians alike, food was much more than a source of physical nourishment and survival. "Food is a means to celebrate our sense of family and community, and cement ties with family and friends," he added.
He likewise illustrated the importance of the food industry in the two economies.
• On the other hand, the Philippines's food processing sector is the most dominant manufacturing sector in the country. The sector comprises of fruits and vegetables, meat and poultry, flour and bakery, dairy products, fish and marine, beverages, confectioneries, food condiments and seasonings, food supplements, bottled water, snack foods, fats and oils.It accounts for 40% of total manufacturing output, contributes 20% of GDP per annum and is growing at 8%-10% per annum.
In concluding his speech, Ambassador Ochoa urged the participants to join the IFEX 2013: "You have an exciting opportunity to unlock opportunities not just in the Philippine food industry but also in the rest of Asia, by taking part in IFEX 2013: either as food importers, exporters, buyers, or even regulators."
Buoyed by the large turnout of participants to the briefing, the DTI delegation expressed confidence that there would be a greater participation from Brunei Darussalam in next year's IFEX.
In the addition to organizing the briefing, the Philippine Embassy also arranged the DTI team's meetings with officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT), Brunei BIMP-EAGA Business Council (BEBC), the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood-Ministry of Industry and Natural Resources (DAA-MIPR), chambers of commerce, and selected private companies. END