Southeast Asian companies and entrepreneurs gather at Expo for Philippines Pavilion regional trade forum

DUBAI, 23 November 2021 – The Philippines Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai served as a meeting place on Monday (22 November) for Southeast Asian companies and entrepreneurs looking for trade opportunities, helping to strengthen economic ties in what is considered by many to be an emerging market.

With a vibrant atmosphere, the Philippines Pavilion, adjacent to Jubilee Park, had organised an outdoor business forum, not only for Filipino companies – as in previous events – but for those from the wider region.

As a backdrop to the talk of business, cultural performers from the Philippines danced to traditional music that reflected the rich heritage of the country, which has more than 111 million people.

Charmaine Mignon Yalong, Philippine Trade Attaché for the Middle East and Africa, said the main objective of the event was to connect Asian companies in the UAE and expand prospects beyond the Philippines’ market.

“The Philippines is seeking to become a manufacturing hub in Southeast Asia. What distinguishes the Philippines is its people, and its culture is another important factor.”

Yalong emphasised the investment opportunities offered by her country by highlighting the food and electronics industries, as well as the hospitality sector.

She believes that the Philippines’ existing trade agreements with the EU, the US, Japan and South Korea make it an attractive destination for those wishing to enter these larger markets.

The Philippines has a privileged trade relationship with the UAE, with official data indicating that commerce between the two countries reached USD 1.7 billion in 2020.

“This figure has naturally fallen due to the pandemic to USD 705 million for this year, but we have seen positive signs in recent months,” Yalong added.