The Philipines pushes more seaweed and coconut exports to ASEAN countries, Philstar report revealed.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar, during the 41st ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry Meeting in Brunei, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with ASEAN countries to strengthen the collective bargaining position of the region and expand products that are exported to the global market.
Moreover, as cited in the report, “the MOU urges promotion scheme which enables the products of the ASEAN members to strategically position them on matters affecting trade in the international market and also, to ensure that products are being manufactured by sustainable means”.
The products that will be covered by the production scheme in the Philippines are mainly seaweed products and coconut exports.
Specifically,”seaweed and seaweed-based products, both food grade and non-food grade; coconut including coconut oil, copra meal, desiccated coconut, oleo chemicals, virgin coconut oil, coir fiber, coconut milk and cream, activated carbon, coco shell charcoal, and coconut water”, report mentioned.
During the ASEAN Joint Committee on Agriculture and Forest Products Promotion Scheme represented by the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service of the Department of Agriculture have finalized the agricultural products of the Philippines.
Malaysia’s cocoa and palm oil, coffee from Vietnam, peas and beans from Myanmar, Thailand’s tapioca and sericulture and Indonesia’s pepper, tea, and tuna are the agricultural products from different ASEAN members.
On the other, Dar had a bilateral meeting with the US-ASEAN Business Council (USABC) to examine possible areas and priorities for collaboration.
“Presently there are just two products for export that have reached the $1 billion and above category, these are banana and coconut oil. There are products now that are below the $500 million category and we want to elevate them so that they can go to the next level,” Dar said.
Further, Dar emphasize that the Philippines need to obtain a unified export development study that will enable the agriculture sector become more competitive.