In light of the ever-growing popularity of international cuisine along with the greater public’s ever-present predilection for their homegrown cuisine as combined with a newfound sense of openness and curiosity, a renaissance in Philippine culinary culture is not far off from flourishing.

A subsidiary of Worldbex Services International, one of the country’s leading exhibition and events organizers, MAFBEX Events Management recognized the promising opportunities in this segment. With a vision to spark the movement of this endeavor and an understanding of the value of mindful collaboration, the Philippines through the collective efforts of MAFBEX has won the bid to host the ASEAN leg of Salon International de I’Agroalimentaire or SIAL, in partnership with French event organizer COMEXPOSIUM.

The first to be held in the Philippines, SIAL is the world’s largest food innovation observatory which first launched in Paris in 1964. Today, it remains to set the standards for worldwide food and retail industries – expanding to different parts of the world including North and South America and the Middle East. The SIAL ASEAN is set to run from June 11 to 13 at the Main Hall of the World Trade Center Metro Manila and will be held simultaneously with the 8thinstallation of MAFBEX at the venue’s Tents A and B, as well as Philippine Trade Training Center.

Setting up the stage and serving as a platform that bridges the gap between various industries, the SIAL ASEAN paves the way for a dynamic and globalized line up of professional trade shows, exhibitors, and free-flowing exchange of business-to-business strategies between a diverse crop of culinary minds, from chefs to foodies, and everything in between.

As a first-of-its-kind event, the international food expo is seen to foster business relationships that seek to expand one’s operations. In terms of business opportunities, the exposition is undeniably bound to open doors for the country and lead to an assortment of insightful cultural undertakings for the industry.

Slated to be the biggest food expo in the ASEAN region, visitors can expect the participation of some of the biggest purchasers of the retail chain industry such as Cosco, Walmart, Metro, HERO, Dean and Deluca, and so much more.

Instrumental not only for the local food and beverage industry, the SIAL ASEAN is seen to attract 1,500 foreign trade buyers which will contribute significantly to the already booming growth of the Philippine economy.

Much recently, the Philippines has been showing an impressive growth, with Motoo Konishi, WB country director for the Philippines stating that, “The Philippines is no longer the sick man of East Asia, but the rising tiger.” This is a result of an improving fiscal situation of the government and the country’s macroeconomic stability.

As the country continues to promote foreign investment and plays host to multinational corporation affiliates, significant positive spillover effects on domestic industries as expected to arise from foreign investment inflows. In fact, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo said that a net FDI inflow of $2.6 billion is expected for this year which is 24 percent above the projected $2.1 billion last year.

With more than 500 exhibitors and 15,000 trade visitors expected, SIAL ASEAN will play an important role in facilitating a large influx of foreign buyers. Most notably, it will serve as a viable opportunity for the country to showcase its agricultural resources. Coinciding with the thrust of Department of Agriculture’s Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service as overseen by Director Gazmin, the event will further solidify DA AMAS’ fivefold programs of Market Access and Development, Industry Support and Development, Investment Assistance and Promotion, Enterprise Development Assistance, and Market Research and Information.

The SIAL ASEAN could be the gateway of the global market to our local crops as the event serves as the biggest research and development opportunity for the local industry and foreign buyers. Not to mention, it will be the ultimate sourcing and educational hub to improve and develop existing products, encourage new products, incite innovation, and network among industry professionals from here and abroad.

Likening the event to the Silk Road where cultural transmissions are bound to transpire, the expo is also seen to induce a positive pass-on effect for the hospitality and tourism industry. With the influx of foreigners arriving in the country for the vent, the Pasay area is expected to house countless of visitors who are all looking to indulge and discover the local culture and what the cities have to offer.

The hospitality sector can expect a tantamount of bookings for hotel rooms, surge of enthusiastic customers flocking the casinos, restaurants, and lifestyle hubs. After all, the event is all about food and culture, and exhibitors and visitors will surely be looking forward to get a taste of the Philippine dining and after-work culture. It is truly a refreshing scene that the global arena will surely be interested to dive right in to.

June marks the season wherein traders, buyers, professionals, and industry personalities will converge to take part of the largest sourcing and market intelligence exhibition for the food industry – a full house showcasing of what the ASEAN region has to offer.