The government’s efforts to introduce Philippine seafood in a bigger market is paying off, generating about PHP10.54 billion (USD211.3 million) in a recent seafood sourcing event in the Middle East.
The Department of Agriculture through its Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources has facilitated the participation of eight Philippine seafood companies in SEAFEX 2016 in Dubai World Trade Center, UAE.
SEAFEX is the largest gathering of seafood buyers from top-tier and mainstream companies in the lucrative MEASA region. This year, the seafood show brought together F&B professionals and businesses from different importing countries such as UAE, Lebanon, India, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Iraq, Bahrain, Egypt, Turkey, China, Morocco, KSA, Ukraine, and Norway among others.
The participating exhibitors from the Philippines were Fisherfarms Inc., RGE Agridev Corp., Seaworld Commercial Trading Corp., Mega Fishing Corp., Philfresh Corp., Phil-Union Frozen Foods, Inc., Nuevo Fresco Marine Trading Corp., and Jam Seafoods, Inc. Except for RGE Agridev Corp. which only entertained inquiries for its canned crab meat, the seafood companies recorded an aggregate of PHP10,496,019,212.00 (USD210.5 million) sales under negotiation. Nuevo Fresco also closed a total of PHP41.7 million (USD835,200) booked sales for its fresh tuna products.
Among the Philippine commodities that won big in the expo were shrimp, milkfish, canned tuna, canned sardines, varieties of fresh frozen tuna, value added seafood products, and live species such as lobsters and groupers.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol congratulated the team that worked diligently for Philippines’ involvement in the trading event.
“We are glad that seafood commodities from the Philippines are attracting greater international attention. The success of our exhibit in Dubai proves that strong collaborations between the government and private companies can help us catch the big fish,” Piñol said.
Piñol also noted the importance of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) market to the Philippines. UAE alone consumes up to 100 tons of seafood annually at a rate of 33 kilograms per capita, the highest among GCC countries. This entails huge trade opportunities for the Philippines, the Secretary added.