THE Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) export promotion arm is encouraging exporters to explore online platforms after trade shows were canceled in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis.

The Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) promotes Philippine export goods and services through various events, including overseas trade fairs. CITEM in late March said its events for the first half of 2020 have been canceled.

“Stronger digital synergy is the way forward in these trying times since events have been canceled or postponed across the world. Our exporters, particularly the micro-, small- and medium-enterprises (MSMEs), should tap strategic social media platforms and digital tools to widen their online reach and continue their working relations with their clients and stakeholders,” CITEM Executive Director Pauline Suaco-Juan said in a statement Tuesday.

“Exporters can also take advantage of available webinars on business, logistics and online marketing, among others, on how they can navigate or bounce back from their current situation,” she said.

Ms. Suaco-Juan said CITEM is also collaborating with institutions and resource speakers, including creatives and design experts, to promote the Philippines online.

She spoke at Project Ripple PH’s weekly show on Tuesday, joining business professionals and creatives to discuss “influencer marketing” in the Philippines. She will also be joining an online conversation with the Fashion and Design Council of the Philippines, PHx Fashion Conference, and SoFA Design Institute.

The DTI in a statement Monday said agricultural exports entered three new international markets, with maiden shipments of avocados sent in China, cacao products shipped to Belgium, and coconut milk arriving in Russia in March and April.

“COVID-19 may lead to market access issues and non-tariff measures. It may be more difficult to comply with stricter regulations, certifications, external and domestic regulations. The DTI-EMB commits to assist exporters, especially MSMEs, to comply with these requirements and introduce their products to the world,” DTI Export Marketing Bureau Director Senen M. Perlada said.

He has been encouraging exporters to increase their e-commerce presence, especially during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) imposed on Luzon. — Jenina P. Ibañez