IN A bid to expand the country’s exports reach in the Asean countries, the Philippines is now on track on securing meat, poultry and livestock exportation accreditation from importing countries, an agri attache said.

Anna Abuela, the country’s agri attache in Thailand, told reporters at the sideline of the 17th Davao Agri-Trade Expo (Date) 2015 opening ceremony Friday that they are now working on securing an accreditation in importing countries like Malaysia and Indonesia to further boost the country’s potential in exportation.

“As linkages with other countries already exist like in Thailand, Singapore, and Vietnam where we already have an accreditation, we are now expanding our reach in Indonesia and Malaysia,” she said.

However, she said that challenges are keeping the process long since both countries are very stringent in requirements and qualifications.

“As both countries are Muslim countries they are requiring Halal certification, which we still have to work on. Also, food safety accreditation is one of the requirements, but we are doing our best to penetrate to this market,” Abuela said.

But she refused to state the timeline of the accreditation process.

Indonesia and Malaysia, according to Abuela, is a $248-million market in poultry and livestock.

Meanwhile, one of the issues raised during in the Focus Group Discussion on the Philippines’ trade export of livestock, poultry and aquaculture during the first day of Date 2015, which is attended by the stakeholders in the industry, is the difficulty of the Philippines to penetrate in other big export markets.

“Opportunities and challenges in exportation are bound to be worked by the private and government sector. I think it is more on looking what the market requires and what they (industry players) can do to make those requirements, we have to be market-driven,” Abuela said.

“Once we can penetrate, then we near to our goal which is to enable local products to gain the global community. It can be done, we can achieve it,” she added.

The agri attache based in Japan is also present in the focus group discussion, where talks on market conditions, requirements, status and challenges in a specific export market took place.

The Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (DCCCII), the organizer of Date 2015, also invited agri and trade attaches in Malaysia, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates and Singapore.

For this year, the three-day event, which is slated last September 25 to 27 carried the theme: “Building local products for global community.” (ASP)