By: Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines, SEOUL

30 October 2021, Seoul - The Philippines, through the Philippine Agriculture Office (PAO) in Seoul, participated in the largest biennial agriculture exhibition in Korea, the 2021 International Agriculture Exhibition (IAE), in Naju, Jeollanamdo from 21-31 October 2021.

Almost 60,000 guests came to visit the Philippine pavilion during the first four days of the 2021 IAE. Philippine Ambassador to Korea Theresa Dizon-De Vega led the Philippine food promotion during the 2021 IAE International Business Day, giving away fresh PH fruits to Korean consumers. "In celebration of the 72 years of Philippines and Korea relations, we are happy to share our deliciously fresh Philippine products to Korean consumers in this event. We thank the Jeollanamdo local government and the organizing team for always supporting the Philippines' participation in the IAE," said Amb. De Vega.

PAO collaborated with 28 Philippine agri-food export companies and three major fresh fruit importing companies in Korea namely Del Monte Fresh Produce, Dole Korea, and Sumifru Korea, to showcase a diverse range of PH agricultural products during the exhibition. It was also an opportunity for Philippine exporters to work with the Korean Importers' Association (KOIMA) for online business matching with potential buyers.

The Philippine Embassy is proud to showcase the best of Philippine food products and how these cater to the discerning taste of the Korean market. Of interest to consumers is the Philippines' fresh okra, which recently gained market access to Korea and our Philippine bananas, which is among the major export products covered in the recently concluded negotiations on the Philippines-Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement. The Philippines expects more robust agricultural cooperation with Korea once the agreement takes effect.

Aside from traditional fresh fruit favorites such as pineapples, papayas, and mangoes, the Philippine pavilion showcased new agricultural products appealing to the growing trend in Korea for organic and healthy food. Other offerings include the refreshing calamansi (or the Philippine lemon) extract, flavored pili nut products, vegan coconut by-products, turmeric items, tablea and chocolate products, pickled mangoes, tasty fruit and vegetable chips, and seafood products.

Despite challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Philippines' participation in the 2021 IAE was a resounding success with Philippine agricultural products attracting the interest of the public and potential buyers alike. Business matching of participating PH agri-food companies were held online with interested major buyers such as Homeplus, LotteMart, CJ Freshway, Hyundai Shopping, Siwon International, among others.

Themed "Agriculture Changes the World! Dreaming of the future with smart agriculture," the 2021 IAE is open to the public until October 31, 2021. The Philippine Embassy in Korea looks forward to future cooperation in business and agriculture between the Philippines and the Republic of Korea in the future. END