The Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB), together with Philippine Trade and Investment Center-Seoul, Department of Tourism (DOT), and the ASEAN-Korea Center, recently held a business matching activity between local food entities and major companies from South Korea at the SMX Convention Center in conjunction with the Madrid Fusion Manila 2016.

The seven Korean food companies interested in sourcing Philippine food products include FF Corporation, Bar Kor, Jinsung FM, Naesung Enterprise Co. Ltd., Nature Food, ILSHINNAPU, and Korea’s biggest fruit company, CJ Cheiljedang.

Lee Dong Go, Deputy Head of the ASEAN Korea Center and head of the Korean delegation, noted that active collaboration between the Philippines and Korea in activities like this is a reflection of the strong economic ties between the two countries. “I strongly believe that the Philippine food products have a high potential in securing competitive advantage in the global market,” he added.

Featured during the event were different Philippine food and beverage export products from around the country including sauces and condiments of Mama Sita’s, pure sap coco sugar from Cocoro, coffee from Bote Central Inc., calamansi products from nuBlends corporation, peking duck from Maharlika Agro-marine ventures corp, snack food from Universal Robina Corp., baked products from Magic Melt, confectioneries from Monde Nissin, natural sweetener from Suchero, coconut oil from Minola, coco water and coco products from VCO Philippines among others.

Through the assistance of the DTI Regional Offices, about 20 Philippine food companies coming from various regions in the country participated during the said event and a total of 120 Philippine food exporters were able to discuss possible sourcing of products and explore business opportunities through direct supply, distribution, partnership, or joint venture agreements with the Korean delegates.

Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) Director Senen M. Perlada welcomed the South Korean Delegation emphasizing the contribution of the ASEAN-Korea Center in aiding Philippine exporters in accessing the Korean food market. He said, "The DTI-EMB and the AKC are in full support of this activity to leverage on the benefits under the ASEAN trade agreement and promote further trade relationships with South Korea as one of our major trading partners."

As part of the business matching activity, a seminar on global competitiveness of food products in the Philippines was also held. Topics on sourcing, packaging technology and gourmet food were presented by respective speakers from South Korea.

The business matching activity generated a total of 118 business meetings from 59 exporting companies and total potential sales of USD195M.

South Korea is the top 7 business partner of the Philippines with a total trade of USD6.8B in 2015, ranked top 6 as an import source valued at USD4.3B for 2015 and top 7 export destination with total exports for the same period at USD2.5B.

Korean Delegates EMBKorean business mission delegates with the officials from DTI EMB and ASEAN-Korea Centre (AKC). Front Row (left to right) Yoon Kwang Hun (ILSHINNAPU), Dr. Oh Jae Young (KCL), Ms Do Hyun Ji (AKC), Director Senen Perlada (DTI-EMB), Mr. Lee Dong Go (AKC), Mr. Park In Youb (FF Corporation), Mr. Emmanuel Ang (TSO), Mr. Lee Ho Yeon (CJ Cheiljedang).