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Local Manufacturer of Noodles, Biscuits Benefit from FTAs

By James L. Camay, Philippine Export Digest


Monde Nissin Corporation's Market Officers Anna Melissa Nava and Dominic Milan shared the company's experiences in utilizing the countrys free trade agreements (FTAs) to expand their exports.

The market officers attended the Department of Trade and Industry's (DTI) Doing Business in Free Trade Areas (DBFTA) information sessions on May 21 in Iloilo City and May 23 in Antique as resource speakers.

The DBFTA is an outreach program of the DTI that seeks to inform local manufacturers and would-be exporters of the benefits they can apply to facilitate the export of their products to the Philippines FTA partners.

Monde Nissin is the manufacturer of Lucky Me! instant noodles and Monde biscuits such as Bingo, Eggnog, and Breadstix.

During the information session, Nava said, "Lucky Me! initially explored as a filler item to the containers. Our point of entry would be Filipinos living abroad as a target niche market."

Monde Nissin exports to 40 countries around the world, including countries in Asia, Africa, Middle East, Europe, North America, Oceania, and the Pacific Islands. "We also enter through the mainstream market by making our products fit for the foreign market," Nava added. "We think of products that will cross border or will cater to the Filipino market abroad."

An FTA is an agreement between two or more countries to eliminate or reduce tariffs and other requirements of commerce that restrict trade between them. Milan said, "Through FTAs, exporters have better profit margins because the importers don't pay tariffs, more buyers buy products from the Philippines because they know that we have a competitive edge with the agreements and FTAs cushion the impact of fluctuating foreign exchange rates."