IN THE bid to increase Philippine exports to Canada, a foreign business group has presented to Negrense industry stakeholders the export opportunities that they may explore.
Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CanCham) in the Philippines president Julian Payne, in a presentation held at the Negros First Negosyo Center in Bacolod City on Tuesday, August 20, underscored the import demand of Canada and the different markets within the country for various provinces.
Payne also highlighted where the Philippines and other Association of Southeast Asian (Asean) countries are successful in exporting to Canada.
“You must have to know the market in every part of Canada if you’re looking for the sizeable portion of its population,” he said, adding that “do not think Canada as a single market.”
The half-day activity was initiated by the Provincial Small and Medium Enterprise Development (SMED) Council and Bacolod-Negros Occidental Federation for Information and Communications Technology (BNEFIT).
It gathered manufacturers in agri-based food processing, bakers, and gifts, decors and housewares (GDH) producers.
Other participants are private-sector members of the Provincial SMED Council including Association of Negros producers, Negros Occidental Council of Women, BNEFIT, Bacolod Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Hotel and Restaurant Association of Negros Occidental.
For the government sector, representatives from the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of the Interior and Local Government and offices of the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental like the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist.
Other discussions included the top Philippine exports to Canada and where the country could do even better, and the relative success of Philippines in exporting compared to major Asean competitors.
The CanCham official also presented the profiles of markets within Canada including the distribution and socio-economic profile of population, and major urban centers and markets there, among others.
Mary Ann Colmenares, chairman of the Provincial SMED Council, said the presentation on the Canadian market was very informative.
Colmenares said the CanCham official presented a well-defined analysis of the products that Canadians patronize and buy from the Philippines as well as Asean in general.
“We have not saturated the export market in Canada, we have yet to build access to it,” she added.
Using the 2016 to 2018 international trade statistics, the foreign business chamber presented that Philippines’ top exports to the world include coconut oil, fresh and dried bananas, preparations of fruits, preserved fish, coconuts, pineapples, avocados, mangoes, vegetable extracts, tobacco products, fruit and vegetable juices, and frozen fish.
Top Canadian imports from the world, meanwhile, are grape wines, bread and pastries, protein concentrates, coffee, chocolates, animal feed preparations, berries, waters, preparations of fruits, and mushrooms.
Colmenares said the presentation will help in opening up another access to export market for the products produced in Negros Occidental.
She added that while the market in Canada is not as big in volume as the United States, it will be a good match for the capacities that the local SMEs presently have.
“Market studies are important for producers to be able to know the potentials of exporting to Canada,” the Provincial SMED Council official stressed.