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Mindanao firms highlighted at IFEX 2011

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DAVAO CITY — More than 70 Mindanao-based food producers will participate in this year’s International Food Exhibition (IFEX), to be held from May 12 to 14.

IFEX, the country’s biggest and most important food exposition, will feature more than 300 exhibitors from across the country at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City.

At the center of this year’s IFEX will be a Mindanao Pavilion, including a mini-pavilion showcasing the Socsksargen subregion, as well as displays from Davao, Northern Mindanao, Western Mindanao, Caraga and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), according to the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA).

A Mindanao Agribusiness Investment Forum being held as a side event on the afternoon of May 12 will feature as speakers the CEOs of the Unifrutti Group Corporation and RD Export Food International, as well as senior officials of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry. A business matching session will follow.

The Mindanao Pavilion, which is supported by USAID’s Growth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM) Program in partnership with the Department of Agriculture and MinDA, will feature small- and medium-scale producers and exporters of fruit, vegetables and various high-value aquaculture products.

Since 2008, the GEM Program has assisted the participation of a total of 19 Mindanao SME firms in IFEX. Their participation has resulted in about $6 million worth of sales for these firms.

Support to Mindanao companies in local and international trade events is part of GEM’s strategy to increase the domestic shipment and export of selected commodities. These include major shows in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Germany, Russia, Japan, South Korea and the United States.

GEM-assisted companies have to date reported about $31.3 million in actual sales resulting from their participation in these trade shows.

These events have also enabled Mindanao suppliers and exporters to obtain vital market information on emerging market trends and opportunities.

At least 200 buyers from Asia, Middle East, United States and Europe attend IFEX annually through the Very Important Buyer’s (VIP) Program of the Center of International Trade and Expositions (CITEM), the event’s organizer. GEM




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