THE PHILIPPINES is set to dispatch 3,000 kilograms of mangoes to Australia this month, the second such shipment sent under the terms of a strategic partnership, according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

“(The) 3,000 kilograms will be sent to Perth and Sydney. An additional shipment will follow two or three weeks later, then possibly another shipment in June,” the DTI said late Saturday. 

“The last shipment for the year will be in August or September, which is before the mango season in Australia starts,” it added.

Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual said that an increase in trade could be expected with market access in Australia, which has strict quarantine rules that Philippine crops have fallen afoul of.

“Our challenge would be on the production side. We will check the status of our mango industry. For DTI, we would like to provide enhanced market access for our exporters to many countries, even non-traditional partners,” Mr. Pascual said.

“For this year, we are working on a free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union, United Arab Emirates, and Canada under the ASEAN-Canada FTA negotiations,” he added.

Trade between the Philippines and Australia rose 20% to $4.1 billion last year.

“The continued growth in our bilateral trade underscores the vast potential for our products in the Australian market,” Mr. Pascual said.

“The successful export of our mangoes exemplifies the significant strides we’re making in facilitating agricultural trade, which is pivotal for our economic agenda,” he added.

In September 2023, the Philippines and Australia made a joint declaration that elevated their bilateral relationship to a strategic partnership.

FastboxPH, the logistics firm behind the shipment of mangoes, said that there is a surge in demand for Philippine mangoes in Australia, leading to plans for the company to expand its presence in Australia.

“The overwhelmingly positive response to our initial shipment last year has paved the way for a triumphant return of Philippine mangoes to Australian tables this April,” said Miguel Ripoll, managing director of FastboxPH. 

“We are steadfast in our commitment to making Philippine mangoes a household staple in Australia,” he added. — Justine Irish D. Tabile