Manila – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese Premiere Li Keqiang witnessed (15 November 2017) the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) of the Philippines (PH) and the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) of the People’s Republic of China (PROC) during the sidelines of the visit of the Chinese Head of Government to the Philippines.
DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez and MOFCOM Vice-Minister Fu Ziying signed the MOU on joint cooperation on Industrial Parks Development, which would expand opportunities for bilateral trade and economic cooperation.
“The MOU sets the tone in creating a program that will facilitate a seamless investment guide for Chinese investors in PH industrial parks,” said Sec. Lopez.
Sec. Lopez further shared that the MOU provides provisions on undertaking business matching activities to facilitate possible partnership and collaboration between PH and PROC enterprises.
“This joint cooperation will strengthen economic ties between the two countries by enhancing the Philippines’ manufacturing competence and diversifying China’s investments in the Philippines,” said the trade chief.
Chinese investors have earlier visited possible locations in Luzon and Mindanao for industrial park development, as a response to earlier commitments of China to President Duterte to expand opportunities in the Philippines.
Meanwhile, the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) of the Philippines and the State Intellectual Property on Cooperation of China also signed a MOU in protecting, utilizing, managing, and enforcing intellectual property through joint cooperation. The MOU was signed by IPO Director General Josephine Santiago and National Development Reform Commission (NDRC) Vice Chairman Zhang Yong.
Twelve other agreements were signed during the event, including cooperation on youth, infrastructure development, climate change, defense industry, and investment and production, among others.
“The signing of these documents reflects the commitment of Philippines and China towards mutually beneficial cooperation, as well as the resolve of the administration of President Duterte to strengthen further the renewed ties of friendship with China, our Asian neighbor,” he concluded.
A delegation led by the Department of Trade and Industry – Calabarzon Office (DTI-Calabarzon) is in Canada and the United States for a trade and business mission to explore joint ventures and market arrangements and to also seek to strengthen business tie-ups and linkages towards business opportunities for Calabarzon enterprises from 12 November 12 to December 02, 2017.
DTI Calabarzon Regional Director Marilou Toledo leads the 20-day business mission and is composed of selected micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSME) along with officials and representatives of the municipal government of Alabat, Quezon, Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and DTI Laguna Provincial Office.
The group will actively engage in exploratory networking activities for possible future joint ventures and market arrangements and strengthening business tie-ups/network linkages towards business opportunities through the B2B meetings, market outlet visits and business matching sessions.
On top of the networking activities, the mission hopes to participate in learning sessions.
“I am hopeful that this mission will better equip our MSMEs to help them prosper in business and at the same time provide better opportunities for market linkages, business networking and know market trends and innovative product developments in these lucrative markets,” Toledo said.
The Canadian leg coincides with Canadian Executive Service Organization’s (CESO) 50th anniversary celebration with Toledo gracing the event as a distinguished institutional partner in strengthening MSMSEs in the region.
“This trip to Canada is built on the long-held strategic partnership with the Canadian Executive Service Organization (CESO), one of Canada’s leading volunteer-based development organizations”, Toledo said.
As a strategic partner, the DTI Calabarzon has forged collaboration with CESO to continuously capacitate and equip the Calabarzon MSMEs in their respective business operations.
To pave the way for the mission, DTI last month initiated a workshop to prime up prospective participants on their readiness to export and penetrate the Canadian market.
Business meetings and other exploratory activities are coordinated with the CESO officials, both Canada and Philippine-based, between the Philippine Trade and Investment Centers (PTICs) through Senior Trade Commissioner Ma. Roseni Alvero (DTI Foreign Trade Service Corps, PTIC-Canada), Nicanor Bautista, Commercial Counselor of PTIC-New York, and the Philippine Consulate General in Toronto, led by Consul General Rosalita Prospero.
Da Nang, Vietnam – Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez called on the 21 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies to focus on discussions and initiatives centered on promoting sustainable, innovative, and inclusive growth during the 29th APEC Ministerial Meeting on 8 November.
“It is our duty as ministers to reinvent the globalization model wherein progress and growth are extended to the bottom of the pyramid. This is the only way that we will be able to realize the Bogor Goals and usher APEC’s role beyond 2020,” said Sec. Lopez.
The DTI chief also highlighted the role of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) and its development and internationalization in pushing inclusive economic growth and development.
As the Philippines’ (PH) trade minister, Sec. Lopez also expressed the country’s support for APEC’s programs in promoting green and sustainable MSMEs through the Green Economic Development. The set of policies pushing for the creation of climate-smart and environment-friendly industries are now integrated in the manufacturing industry sector, particularly for the automotive, auto parts, pulp and paper, plastic, housing, and furniture industries.
On the e-commerce discussion, PH has submitted its intent to participate in the APEC Cross-Border Privacy Enforcement Arrangement (CPEA) and work with economies in ensuring compliance with international standards to address MSMEs’ issues on security as well as privacy in the internet and digital economy.
“PH continues its support for the MSME sector as we co-lead the development of the APEC MSME Work Programme with Malaysia. We have also shared our inputs on tariffs, investments, non-tariff measures, transparency, and capacity-building discussions,” Sec. Lopez added.
Meanwhile, in another intervention with APEC member economies, Sec. Lopez urged for the promotion of capacity-building efforts and technical collaborations that will increase the value-add of industries and MSMEs, as well as maximizing their potential in the global economy while achieving inclusive growth.
“APEC’s role in promoting sustainable, innovative, and inclusive growth can be more meaningful if we are able to influence our respective regional economic integration groupings with the principles of real inclusivity,” trade chief said.
In the same venue, the DTI chief called on member economies to address the issues on growing non-tariff barriers, which hamper market access and affect developing economies
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will conduct a Brand Equity Development Seminar for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) on November 15-16, 2017 at Harold’s Hotel, Cebu City.
The two-day activity will be facilitated by Dr. Wilfrido Arcilla, a consultant and the country’s acclaimed Brand Development Specialist
Among the topics to be discussed include key concepts of branding and marketing, new trends and the basic principles of brand development. The rest of the activity will be allotted for the one-on-one cliniquing with MSMEs from Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental and Siquijor.
According to DTI Region 7 Director Asteria Caberte, the recent developments among ASEAN partner countries formalizing market and intellectual exchanges pose a huge opportunity for producing innovative and unique Philippine brands.
“Our MSMEs need to be sufficiently prepared and armed with competitive strengths that could define their positions in the global market”, Dir. Caberte said. She emphasized that an effective brand statement and strategy will ensure a major edge in sustaining customer interest and preference.
The two-day seminar is one of the components of the Brand Equity Development Program (BrEDP) of the DTI as it seeks to register the brands with the Intellectual Property of the Philippines, improve packaging and labelling and launch the brands for a massive promotion.
For inquiries, interested parties may call Joy Suralta ofDTI 7 Regional Office at telephone numbers (032) 2550036 -37.
“It is important that entrepreneurs are able to appreciate the concept of branding and brand equity to increase their competitiveness, and sustain business growth Dir Caberte underscored, because they contribute to jobs generation and eventually reduce poverty and increase prosperity in the country.” #
The maiden participation of seven (7) Filipino micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) at the 23rd edition of the Salon du Chocolat in Paris, considered the biggest chocolate exhibition in the world, was capped by the selection of Puentespina Farms as one of the Top 50 producers of cacao beans around the world by the International Cocoa Awards last October 30 in Paris, France.
The recognition given to Puentespina Farms is a first for the Philippines in a competition that brought in 166 entries from 40 cacao producing countries. The samples were “evaluated by 41 chocolatiers and sensory evaluation experts from around the world.”
Rex and Jen Puentespina, Farmer/Chocolate Maker, and Managing Director respectively of the same company behind the Malagos brand of chocolates, represented their mother Charita Puentespina during the recognition rites held at the sidelines of the Salon du Chocolat in Paris, France.
Mr. Puentespina, who proudly waved a Philippine flag to honor their hardworking cacao farmers when called on stage said that “the recognition bestowed on our cacao beans grown in Davao, is a testament to the truly world-class quality of products grown and developed in the Philippines by Filipino cacao farmers.”
Joining the Puentespinas during the recognition rites were Philippine Cacao Industry Council Chairman Mr. Valente Turtur, representatives from the Philippine Embassy in Paris, the Department of Agriculture, and the Philippine Trade and Investment Centre in Paris.
Also present during the recognition rites were representatives from Philippine cacao companies including Auro Chocolate, Ginto Chocolates, Hiraya, Kablon Farms, NutraRich, and Theo and Philo.
Together with Malagos Chocolates, and with funding support provided by the Department of Trade and Industry’s Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB) and Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the group showcased their products at the country’s first business-to-business booth ever set up at the Salon du Chocolat which ran in Paris from 28 October to 1 November.
According to DTI Undersecretary for Trade and Investment Promotion Group Nora Terrado, “the Philippine participation at the Salon du Chocolat is in line with the DTI’s goal of providing relevant global platforms for Filipino enterprises to have access to, and learn from the international market.”
”The business world is changing rapidly, and it is important for government, in collaboration with the private sector, to constantly identify and be part of truly global avenues where new opportunities for emerging niche sectors such as the cacao industry may be tapped or tested,” added Terrado.
Almost 120,000 attendees including traders, chocolate makers, chocolatiers and aficionados and more than 230 exhibitors flocked to Hall 5 of the Porte des Versailles for the five-day Salon du Chocolat.
The cacao industry in the Philippines currently produces around 12,000 metric tons of beans annually. It has doubled since the revival of the cacao industry in the early 2000s. The goal of the industry is to produce about 100,000 metric tons of quality beans by 2022.
Apart from merely targeting increasing production, cacao industry players are also taking an active role in helping improve its standards.
In photo: The official delegation to the Salon du Chocolat pose before the Philippine booth along with PTIC-Paris Commercial Attache Froilan Pamintuan (third from left) and Eduardo Francisco of PTIC Paris (leftmost). The delegation includes (from left to right): Harleen Jao of NutraRich; Rex Puentespina of Puentespina Farms/Malagos; Pamintuan; Philo Chua of Theo and Philo; Estela Duque of Kablon Farms; Val Turtur of the Philippine Cacao Industry Council; Regional Technical Director Marina Hermoso of the Department of Agriculture Region VII; Joy Angeli Uy of Ginto Chocolates/Bohol; Dalereich Polot of Ginto Chocolates; Laurianne Amacin, stand assistant; Mark Ocampo of Auro Chocolate; Kelly Go of Auro Chocolate; and Francisco.
SEC. LOPEZ SWAYS PHILBAKING TO AID MARAWI RESTORATION. Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez (leftmost) recently (23, October) met with the Philippine Baking Industry Group Inc. (Philbaking) to lead the induction ceremony of new officers in Makati. Trade Secretary Lopez urged baking industry players to take part of the restoration of the newly liberated Marawi City by exploring possible opportunities providing livelihood to the Internally Displaced People (IDPs) of Marawi. Members of the association, on the other has given positive feedback with the advocacy of the Trade Secretary, and promised to further look on possible areas of collaboration with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), helping the Maranao community rebuild again. Also in the picture (from L to R) were Philbaking President Paolo Victor Valderrama with other officers Jerry Lao, Walter Co, Gemenni Monton, Johnlu Koa and Edwin Cua, Jay Ferolino, Jon Chua and DTI Undersecretary Ms. Zenaida Cuison Maglaya