FOOD PHILIPPINES. The FOOD Philippines Pavilion at the 2022 China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, China. The Philippines has been participating in the import expo since its inception in 2018. (Photo courtesy of DTI)

MANILA – The country’s sales in China’s largest import expo have been increasing for the past four years despite the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic that struck in 2020.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) reported on Monday that the Philippines’ sales in the China International Import Expo (CIIE) this year was a record high since the country joined the expo in 2018.

CIIE sales of the Philippine booth this year reached USD655.15 million, higher than the USD597 million sales in 2021. Sales grew from USD128 worth of deals in 2018 and USD256 million in 2019.

“The amount of products we export to China has vastly increased in the past five to six years, and sales were five times larger compared to the first time the Philippines has participated in the 2018 CIIE,” Philippine Trade and Investment Center-Shanghai head Mario Tani said in a statement.

About 97 percent of the total deals at the CIIE were from onsite sales and bulk purchase contracts, while the remaining 3 percent were from online business matching activities.

“FOOD Philippines” remains the country’s brand at the CIIE showcasing Philippine food products that have big potential in the Chinese market.

“What is constant is that the FOOD Philippines Pavilion’s central message – ‘healthy and fresh’, as only food products from the Philippines can offer, bar none, and as devoted and new buyers and importers alike can strongly attest to,” Philippine Consulate General in Shanghai as represented by Consul General Jose Ignacio said.

More Filipino enterprises also joined this year’s CIIE as there were 62 food and food-related exporting companies brought together in the Philippine pavilion.

This year’s CIIE was held from Nov. 5 to 10 at the 500,000-square-meter National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai, China.

CIIE is China’s largest import expo, hosting foreign enterprises eyeing to tap the 1.4-billion Chinese market.

No Chinese manufacturer participated in the CIIE. (PNA)