The Manila Economic and Cultural Office (Meco) is now seeking to gain access for Philippine fresh mangoes, bananas and papayas to the Taiwan market starting next year. Resident representative Antonio Basilio, Meco managing director, said Meco, with the help of the Department of Agriculture, is now negotiating with authorities of Taiwan to open up its market for the Philippine fruits. He said the affluent Taiwanese market presents a good opportunity for the Filipino exporters.
“We at Meco are pushing for the conclusion of our market access talks with Taiwan in 2009 with regard to our top agricultural products. Our tropical fruits, particularly our mangoes, are extremely juicy, luscious and of superior quality. Quality is key to Taiwan’s fruit and vegetable market, and we are confident that the Philippines’ agricultural produce will meet the exacting requirements of the Taiwanese consumer,” Basilio said.
He said Meco has high hopes that Taiwan will grant the market access, particularly since Taipei is already helping the Philippines in several agricultural initiatives like the Rapid Bio-Assay for Pesticide Residue. In early 2008, Taipei conducted several training sessions on bio-assay for pesticide residues in the Philippines that drew the participation of Pesticide Analytical Laboratories personnel. One of the sessions was conducted in Cagayan de Oro in March.
The Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute and the Laboratory Services Division of the Bureau of Plant Industry cosponsored the event. “In response [to our request], Taiwan invited Philippine experts to observe the whole system of bio-assay testing on chemical residues starting from the farm level to the market-place. In addition, visits to farm cooperatives for the grading and Certified Agricultural Standards/Good Agricultural Practices accreditation system for quality and safety of fruits and vegetables had also been arranged,” Basilio said.
Meco also pushed for the broadening of opportunities for cooperation in the field of livestock biotechnology and research capability. Basilio said the component of Meco’s proposed development cooperation included exchange of knowledge, skills, resources and technical know-how among experts that would strengthen human resources capabilities and research and development collaboration.