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Philippine halal-certified food products set to steal the spotlight at Gulfood 2023

CITEM has been organizing the Philippine participation in Gulfood since 2018.

A delegation of 18 Philippine companies will showcase premium halal-certified food products through a country exhibit at the Gulf Food Hotel and Equipment Exhibition and Salon Culinaire, or Gulfood, to be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre in the United Arab Emirates from February 20 to 24, 2023.

Led by the Center of International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the Philippines’ hybrid participation will consist of manufacturers and exporters of fresh and processed fruits and vegetables; processed marine products; ethnic and gourmet products; non-alcoholic beverages; confectionary, biscuits, and pastries; and other food and beverage categories.

The Philippine participation will highlight small and medium enterprises (MSEs) with halal certification and high-value and innovative products under the banner of the country’s collective food promotion program, FOODPhilippines.

CITEM seeks to strengthen the Philippines’ presence in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region through its participation in Gulfood. Gulfood is a renowned international platform dedicated to food and beverage processing in the MEA, attracting more than 98,000 key industry players and decision-makers and over 5,000 exhibitors yearly. As one of the world’s largest food and beverage trade exhibitions, Gulfood is instrumental in expanding the Philippines’ market share in the global halal trade.

Banana and chips
Banana, one of the Philippines’ top food exports, is among the products and ingredients that will be showcased in the Philippine pavilion.

“We want to position the Philippines as a reliable source of fresh, healthy, and natural food products and ingredients to match the trend toward healthier and more sustainable diets. The Philippines’ participation in Gulfood 2023 is extremely strategic because the MEA region is one of the biggest markets for halal food, which often overlaps with organic and plant-based food,” said Trade Promotions Group (TPG) Assistant Secretary Glenn G. Peñaranda.

The UAE remains an attractive market for Philippine produce and goods as food exports to the country have remained steady amid the pandemic, according to the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) in Dubai. It is also the most important import market for halal products in the Middle East along with Saudi Arabia.

Gulfood offers opportunities for Philippine exhibitors to connect with new buyers and expand their markets.

“The Philippines’ participation in Gulfood is critical to increasing our share of the halal food market. Because of the large population of Filipinos in the United Arab Emirates, there’s also a growing demand for Filipino food products. We are confident that this year’s participation will yield positive results and aid in the mainstreaming of Philippine food products and ingredients in the long run,” said Dr. Edward L. Fereira, Ph. D., CITEM Executive Director.

The country’s participation in Gulfood 2023 will benefit from the agency’s updated lead generation and digital promotion platforms for the food industry. This year, CITEM aims to enhance the country’s hybrid participation by providing a “365 sourcing experience” with a strategic combination of physical and digital components.

The Philippine pavilion will be located at booths R152 and R174 of the Sheikh Rashid Hall. The Philippines’ hybrid participation is organized by the Department of Trade and Industry’s export promotion arm, CITEM, in partnership with PTIC-Dubai.

More products from Philippine Gulfood exhibitors, as well as hundreds of other small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), will be showcased at IFEX Philippines, which will be held at the World Trade Center Metro Manila in Pasay City, Philippines from May 26 to 28, 2023. You can also visit the exhibitors’ digital storefronts at IFEXConnect.com or browse stories on the Philippines’ rich food culture and culinary landscape at foodphilippines.com.


The Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) is the export promotions arm of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

For nearly 40 years, CITEM has established the country’s image as a premier destination for quality export products and services. It continues to set the highest standards of creativity, excellence and innovation to achieve competitiveness in the home, fashion, lifestyle, food, creative, and sustainability sectors.

CITEM is committed to developing, nurturing, and promoting micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), brands, designers, and manufacturers by implementing an integrated approach to export marketing in partnership with other government and private entities.

About FOODPhilippines

FOODPhilippines promotes the country as a source of quality food products and ingredients in physical and/or digital trade shows and business-to-business platforms in priority markets around the world.

Under the FOODPhilippines banner, the Philippines is positioned as an exporter of healthy, organic, natural, and specialty food products and services.

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