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CITEM targets $150 million in IFEX sales

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DTI Usec Nora Terrado delivers speech at the 12th International Food Expo (IFEX)

THE CENTER for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) is targeting a “conservative” $150 million in sales during the 12th International Food Expo (IFEX).

Trade Undersecretary for Trade and Investments Promotions Group Nora K. Terrado said on Friday they are expecting a steady performance as last year’s sales reached $184 million versus the same $150-million goal.

“I’d like to target the same and breach that. That’s the minimum threshold,” she added.

Ms. Terrado said the $150-million target was set as the 450 exhibitors are considered small and medium-sized enterprises.

“If you look at the floor today, you will see that a lot of those are developmental. You will see less of the larger enterprises,” she said. “[That’s] because this is a platform to introduce local products that are ready for exports but many of them are first-timers.”

Ms. Terrado noted that the $150 million does not include sales generated after the three-day event if exhibitors ever close a business to business (B2B) deal with buyers.

“I think the difference will come from…sale from the local market. [My] gut feel tells me from the behavior of the visitors now that there will be a lot more local orders from institutional buyers, so that is not included in the $150 million,” she added.

Starting this year, IFEX will become an annual event to provide more selling opportunities for local companies involved in agribusiness.

During the three-day program, CITEM will also host an event called IFEX Connect which will serve as a matchmaking platform to secure B2B partnerships.

In a statement, CITEM noted a 14% average increase in both foreign and local buyers participating in the last four expos.

From 2009 until last year, most of the foreign buyers came from Australia, Canada, China, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates and the US.

IFEX is being held in partnership with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service of the Department of Agriculture. — AGAM