Glenn Peñaranda, commercial counselor with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) in Beijing:

"Chinese new middle-class is ‘a promising market’ for goods from the Philippines"

At the moment, China sports a 400-million strong middle-class, and this group is regarded as a promising export market and the “next biggest opportunity” just waiting to be tapped by Filipino enterprises.

“In the wake of years of high economic growth, there is now a large middle-income class of around 400 million Chinese consumers,” said Glenn Peñaranda, the commercial counselor with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) branch in Beijing.

A distinct feature of Chinese consumers is their move toward the so-called “consumption upgrade,” which is characterized by burgeoning online sales and huge demand for high-quality goods and services as a result of rising disposable income and technology innovation.

“They want better things, they want higher quality things, they want convenient things,” Peñaranda stressed. “China wants to import more because their people are now capable of buying the best products in the world.”

One of the biggest impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic is it made Chinese people want to eat healthier and to seek out more fruits, particularly fresh ones. This bodes well for the Philippines, the third largest supplier of fruits to the country, the expert said. Among the Philippines’ top agricultural food exports to China are Cavendish banana, fresh pineapple, desiccated coconut and preserved or prepared pineapple.

Peñaranda urged the agribusiness sector to produce more because “in our dealings with many of the importers we find really strong demand, so it is important to start planting all of these fruits that we can add to the supply.”



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