MANILA, PHILIPPINES —The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is launching a trade mission in the Philippines, which Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Administrator Daniel Whitley will oversee. On July 18, Whitley arrived in Manila, along with representatives from 29 US agribusinesses and farm organizations and 10 state departments of agriculture interested in export opportunities in the Philippines.

In the week following their arrival, US trade mission delegates will meet with local companies that are looking to increase their US imports. These meetings will be hosted by the FAS Manila office.

The trade mission will go over memoranda of understanding signing ceremonies, which includes one to start a USDA-funded program for African Swine Fever prevention in the Philippines, another to formalize deeper trade ties between the Province of Batangas and US state departments of agriculture, and a third between Mariano Marcos State University and the US Grains Council to support sustainable practices.

“The USDA Philippines trade mission will offer an abundance of opportunities for both the United States and the Philippines,” Whitley said. “I’m confident the next few days will produce mutually beneficial results to help expand trade, increase collaboration on key issues impacting agriculture in both our countries and ultimately strengthen Philippine food security.

“We have a diverse group of US agribusinesses and industry officials joining us in Manila who can provide reliable, high-quality and sustainably produced US food and farm products to local buyers. The Philippines ranks as the eighth-largest export market for US food and agricultural products, averaging $3.1 billion during the past five years, and we’re looking forward to increasing sales and meeting the growing demand from Filipino consumers for US foods.”