DTI to push for more agri exports to Hungary as joint committee convenes

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THE PHILIPPINES is set to hold an inaugural Joint Committee on Economic and Trade Cooperation meeting with Hungary in September, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.

In a statement Sunday, Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said the department is promoting more of the country’s agriculture exports in a meeting with its Hungarian counterparts.

With the Philippines opening an embassy in Hungary after 22 years in 2017, the trade department is hoping to tap an additional export destination.

“(Hungary) has strong interest in mango, banana, coconut and carrageenan [products],” he added.

Other food products being considered were canned tuna and marine products. As for non-food exports, the Philippine delegation promoted electronics, auto parts, and aerospace components.

Citing 2016 data, the Board of Investments said that Hungary is the country’s 40th largest trading partner and 26th largest export market.

Mr. Lopez added that Hungarian firms are being encouraged to make the Philippines their Southeast Asian production hubs.

“Their strength in water management made them offer water management services for [Laguna Lake Development Authority]. They funded their own feasibility study,” he added.

Mr. Lopez said that Hungary’s export-import bank has pledged €1 billion in credit to companies winning contracts in the Philippines.

“They are also working on providing more water filtration systems used during and after disasters for NDRMC,” he said, referring to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. — Anna Gabriela A. Mogato