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Commercial Counsellor for Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei and ASEAN Team Leader Glenn Peñaranda urged Philippine halal producers to expand into international markets at the 2015 National Export Congress in the Philippines. He invited the attendees to showcase their products in international markets at the Gulf Food Dubai this month, Malaysian International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) in March and Food & Hotel Asia Singapore in April.

With Mr. Peñaranda were other government officials from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), departments of Agriculture, Interior and Local Government, Science and Technology and Bureau of Customs, to discuss national commitment to exports with over 600 exporters, SMEs, trade support institutions, academe and international organizations. Themed, “Enabling SMEs for International Markets”, the panelists provided advice on participating in trade missions, taking advantage of digital opportunities and taking innovative approaches for business sustainability.

The Philippines’ export sales amounted to US$5 billion in November 2015 showing the huge demand for high quality made-in-Philippines products and services. Aside from halal, the Philippines also exports woodcraft and furniture, agri-food, marine food, coconut water and by-products, household items, clothing and fashion accessories, natural health products, processed food and drinks and electronics and gadgets.

The DTI, represented by the Philippine Trade & Investment Centre (PTIC) abroad, promotes Philippine exports to the world by organizing business missions and meetings with importers. The PTICs help companies find new markets by making connections and providing practical assistance such as documentations.

The National Congress is the highlight of the National Exporters Week, an annual event led by the DTI, the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. and the Export Development Council to celebrate the exporting successes achieved by Philippine firms. It is aimed at inspiring entrepreneurs to start their export journey or increase their international business.