Ireland has brought its first high-level trade mission to the Philippines as it considers the Philippines an important market in Southeast Asia. The two-day Irish trade mission here, through the Bord Bia (Irish Food Board), aims to boost Ireland's food exports, especially dairy and meat products, and look into opportunities in partnering with local companies. 'The trade mission is a testament to our government's commitment to foster and growing our links -- our business links, our trading link -- and partnership with the Philippines by having a government-led trade mission,' Irish Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Martin Heydon T.D., said at a press briefing in Taguig City on Thursday. 'The Philippines is really an important trading partner for Irish agri-food, and this visit will strengthen those trade relationship,' added Heydon, who is responsible for research and development, farm safety and new market development. Primary Irish exports to the Philippines in 2022 were dairy amounting to 72 million euros; beef, 49 million euros; drinks, 1.5 million euros; sheep meat, 701,084 euros; and seafood, 91,000 euros. Bord Bia chief executive officer Jim O'Toole said 12 companies from Ireland joined the trade mission, with a number of Irish companies represented by importers and traders based in the Philippines. O'Toole said the Irish trade mission also met with Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual, as well as with the Philippine Association Meat Processors Inc. and the Meat Importers and Traders Association. The trade mission also held a seminar for Irish-Philippines beef and pork traders. 'This market has been identified some years ago by Bord Bia as a very appropriate place for us to work in terms of expanding the reach of our dairy and meat exports,' O'Toole said. The Irish Food Board said Tirlan and Lakeland Diaries, two of Ireland's leading dairy processors, signed agreements with dairy distributors in Manila during the trade mission. They will supply Irish cream and butter to the Philippines.
Source: Philippines News Agency