Trade mission to Saudi bears fruit for Davao

Jul. 05, 2007

MANILA — The trade mission conducted by a Mindanao delegation to the Kingdon of Saudi Arabia has been constantly raking in tangible results.

The trade mission, spearheaded by the Department of Trade and Industry National Economic Research and Business Assistance Center (DTI-NERBAC) Davao, was made on February 23 to March 5. The 14-man delegation was composed of businessmen from all over Mindanao and some officials of DTI 9 and 11.

Based on the latest data gathered, Sagrex Foods, Inc., the company which introduced the Pinoy fries (frozen banana fries), and microwavable ripe Cardava banana and turon, recently sent some samples of its products to various KSA markets/clients.

The over-all acceptability of Sagrexs products was very positive. The traders and distributors as well as the OFWS there expressed intense desire for the products to be made available in the market, said Trade Assistant Secretary Merly M. Cruz said.

The Pinoy Fries is being positioned as an alternative to French Fries, particularly for the 1.4 million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in KSA.

Maharlika Agro-Marine Ventures, on the other hand, is set to fly back to KSA this August for the finalization of its business plans with some Arab businessmen.

Moreover, Maharlika will likewise start the registration of its poultry farms to be sold to the OFWs. These farms will be monitored by the OFW buyers through virtual farming technology.

This is one way of developing overseas Filipino investors (OFIs), Cruz said.

The Mindanao Pearl Center, meanwhile, reported that a P2.5 million worth of pearl southern bangles is now under negotiation between them and a company in KSA.

These are actually tangible chances for the Mindanao businessmen to expand their production volume which will result to an increased profit, Cruz said.

In addition to the whooping success of the mission, it was learned that a bottled sardines producer in Zamboanga City was successfully promoted by DTI 9 Assistant Regional Director Sitti Amina Jain and has been able to establish tie-ups with an Arab businessman. Initially, the company, YY Sea International, has already received an order of P37.9 million, P4 million of which has already been paid by the buyer as downpayment.

The businessman arrived at the International Food Expo (IFEX) held last month in Manila and he immediately looked for YY Sea International. The fact that this buyer came to the Philippines just to meet YY Sea International is a clear indication that he really is interested with the companys bottled sardines, Cruz said.

Cruz is optimistic that in the coming days, more reports of positive outcomes will be relayed to DTI-NERBAC Davao by the other members of the mission.

Among the supporters of the mission were the Autonomous Region in Mustlim Mindanao (ARMM) local government, Mindanao Economic Development Council (MEDCO), Mindanao Business Council (MBC), and Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, inc. (DCCCII).

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