BEIJING, CHINA—Trade and Industry Secretary Fred Pascual presented the Philippines as a promising gateway for agricultural and agribusiness products during the Roundtable Meeting (RTM) on Agribusiness held on 5 January 2023. The Meeting was led by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr and attended by Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, Senator Imee Marcos, other members of the Cabinet, and Chinese companies engaged in agribusiness.The RTM provided an overview of the Philippines’ Agribusiness Sector and facilitated the sharing of the country's major interests in establishing cooperation with China and maximizing the potentials of our bilateral agricultural cooperation, especially in areas such as agri trade and agribusiness investments.
Secretary Pascual emphasized the agricultural and labor assets of the country and mentioned that, "As an agriculture-based manufacturing hub, the Philippines has a large domestic market of more than 110 million Filipinos. Our country’s rising middle-income class drives consumption. In 2021, private consumption comprised over 70% of Philippines’ GDP. We also have a large working-age population and a growing pool of skilled workforce.
Clearly, the Philippines is a highly promising production base for agribusiness. Thus, we invite you to consider the Philippines as an investment destination for plantations and processing facilities."
The meeting covered three key sections: (1) Trade; (2) Investments; and (3) Agricultural Inputs. The Philippine Delegation pushed for an increase in the number of Philippine fresh produce with access to the Chinese market and confirmed that the market for Durian fruit is now open to Philippine exporters and Chinese importers. Following the signing of the protocol on market access for Philippine Durian to China, participating companies conveyed purchase intentions for Philippine fruits of as much as US$ 2.09 Billion.
Furthermore, a total of USD1.72 billion worth of investment pledges were gathered in areas such as Durian production, processing and marketing, coconut and other food processing, as well as on alternative green technology for animal feeds, and other agricultural products.
DTI, in collaboration with other government agencies and key stakeholders, remains committed in transforming agricultural farming into a thriving agribusiness-driven sector through science, technology, and innovation. This can contribute not only to diversify and increase the value of agricultural inputs but also to attain inclusive growth and rural development.