THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said it is hoping Philippine companies will take the opportunity to participate in the China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai between Nov. 5 and 10.

Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said in a speech that involvement in CIIE means greater exposure to the Chinese market.

“I ask our Filipino friends and partners from the private sector to note that it’s impossible to ignore the huge $10-trillion Chinese market due to their rapid growth of consumption and imports,” he added.

“Accessing this market will surely leapfrog the level of business transactions between the Philippines and China.”

Information missions for potential participants will be conducted in Cebu on March 20 and Davao on March 23.

The CIIE will feature intelligent equipment, consumer electronics and appliances, automobiles, apparel, accessories and consumer goods, food and agricultural products, as well as medical equipment.

Mr. Lopez added that the country will exhibit over 100 products and services that can be exported to China.

“There will also be a section for trade in services comprising tourism services, emerging technologies, culture and education, creative design, and service outsourcing,” Mr. Lopez said.

In 2017, the two countries’ cross-border business matching activities for small businesses produced 635 tie-ups.

“Thanks to these efforts, we are now building on the progress that we’ve achieved, even as Filipino businesses take advantage of the opportunities in working with their Chinese counterparts,” Mr. Lopez said.

The Philippine Statistics Authority estimates that in January, total trade between two countries was $2.2 billion.

China was the Philippines’ top source for imports in January, with inbound shipments hitting $1.61 billion. — Anna Gabriela A. Mogato