In a virtual meeting on Wednesday, May 5, the Department of Agriculture Secretary William Dar met with German Ambassador to the Philippines Anke Reiffenstuel to discuss agricultural cooperation and trade between the Philippines and Germany on the latter’s food import situation, particularly coconut products such as coco sugar, ready-to-drink coco milk, coco water, and organic extra virgin coconut oil.

Agriculture Secretary said Germany is one of the country’s leading partners in agricultural exports.

The Philippine Statistics Authority January 2020 report showed Germany is next to the Netherlands as the major trading partner in export among the European Union (EU) member countries.

“Balance of trade is in favor of the Philippines, with tuna, banana chips, pineapples, and desiccated coconut as the Philippines’ top four Agri exports to Germany,” Dar said.

Exports of agricultural goods to EU member countries totaled USD265.39 million in the third quarter of 2019, accounting for 12.5 percent of the Philippines’ total exports of USD5.06 billion.

The Netherlands was the top buyer of agricultural commodities among EU member countries. Germany came in second with USD30.07 million in exports, followed by the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland with USD25.14 million.

Aside from coconut products and by-products, the DA chief also mentioned heirloom rice, pili oil (for cosmetic use), pili nut, pineapple concentrate, and cashew nuts as potential export winners.