THE Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) is keen on organizing an outbound trade missions next year, cementing Cebu’s stance that’s “open for business” amid the pandemic and uncertainties in the global market.

“We don’t have a schedule yet but we are hoping to organize more outbound trade missions next year,” said CCCI president Charles Kenneth Co, during the chamber’s yearend press conference Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022.

CCCI for this year went to Tokyo, Japan for the Philippine Creative Entertainment Trade and Investment Mission led by the Department of Trade and Industry Export Marketing Bureau and Philippine Trade and Investment Center-Tokyo Office.

Twenty-three delegates from Cebu joined the Content Tokyo 2022 Expo on June 29 to July 1, 2022.

Moreover, 16 in-bound meetings with dignitaries from various embassies such as Bangladesh, Canada, Denmark, European Union, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Nigeria, Singapore and Sweden paid courtesy visits to CCCI to establish linkages.

On Nov. 16, two business-to-business networking meetings occurred.

One was with the Israeli business delegation comprising seven companies in the water sector followed by the India Business delegation comprising of 22 companies across several sectors in agriculture, frozen meat, pet food, pharmaceutical, medical instruments, automotive parts, clothing and textile and tiles and ceramics sector.

The first was led by the Foreign Trade Administration at the Ministry of Economy and Industry and the Israel Consulate office in Cebu while the latter was led by the Embassy of India and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce (Phil) Inc. (FICCI).

These B2B meetings were participated by 144 representatives of 82 CCCI member companies.

Co said these inbound missions allowed them to link the member-companies to foreign business owners who are looking for new markets to expand their business.

CCCI also met with four newly appointed ambassadors—Ambassador Grace Cruz-Fabella for the Argentine Republic; Ambassador Pedro Ramirez Laylo Jr. for the State of Israel; Ambassador Medardo Antonio Gonzales Macaraig for the Republic of Singapore; and Ambassador Alfonso Ferdinand Agbayani Ver for the United Arab Emirates—to build connections and explore business opportunities to these countries.

“We don’t have much market information of other potential countries. There are like 80 countries all over the world and we are just probably exporting to 10. There are other countries that we haven’t tapped yet,” said Co, adding that the talk with the new envoys would allow them to find out what opportunities await Cebuanos in the regions they represent.

“We are asking the guidance of our envoys to help us exploit the opportunities out there especially since there are countries not in our radar,” Co said during the Economic Diplomacy Townhall Meeting in Cebu on Tuesday, Dec. 6.

Co said Cebu’s advantage is in the creative and design industries and that the province is exploring its niche in this industry.

Likewise, CCCI is also seeking the envoys’ guidance in trade facilitation for business owners to be familiar with the trade regulations overseas.