“This project is so heartwarming for us! When you go to the barangays, you’ll notice several areas of improvement. And we saw that the people are really exerting an effort to improve on their craft and generate livelihood for the rest of their community. These are some of our objectives, and I can say that they have been met.”
Noemi Avancena, product development consultant of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), could not help but be proud of the end result of a long and arduous journey towards the development of self-sufficiency among the small enterprises and group of artisans tapped by USAID for the Crafts of Palawan project.
Avancena, along with representatives from USAID, and the Provincial Government of Palawan, was at the recently concluded Manila FAME where the select group of Palawan-based small cooperatives and enterprises showcased for the first time their handcrafted products using locally available, sustainable materials.
The Crafts of Palawan booth put on display over 200 newly developed products, ranging from handicrafts and furniture items to houseware, fashion accessories, and souvenir items.
Eva Valledor, manager of Binuatan Creations which was part of the Crafts of Palawan at Manila FAME, shared that the program has been a tremendous help to her dedicated team of grass gatherers, who regularly source out raw materials like indigenous grass and fibers such as buntal fibers, mangrove grass, buri sprigs, vetiver, abaca, and other varieties of wild grass found mainly in the province. Binuatan Creations manufactures woven products like bags, pouches, placemats, table runners, purses, slippers, and window shades.
“Exporters are asking samples from us. For each buyer inquiry, an opportunity is given not only to us but to the grass gatherers as well. We’re not yet in the export industry, but I personally would like to learn the tricks of the trade,” said Valledor.
Binuatan Creations was one of the five MSMEs which participated in the Crafts of Palawan showcase at the 63rd Manila FAME along with AVT Bambuhay, Bacolod Rattan Furniture Shop, Malampaya Pancol Multi-Purpose Cooperative, and Nitz Pearl, Gems & Souvenir Shop.
The collaborative project of the Provincial Government of Palawan and the USAID through the Advancing Philippine Competitiveness (COMPETE) Project has already assisted over 18 micro-entrepreneurs and 50 local artisans since 2014. As a culminating activity, they joined the 63rd show edition of Manila FAME after an intensive six-month product development with international lifestyle designer PJ Arañador and a series of design consultations with USAID-COMPETE consultants.
“A lot of work still needs to be done, but we are already thankful to the Provincial Government of Palawan for being so supportive,” added Avancena.
Foreign trade buyers particularly from the US, Netherlands, Germany, and Japan flocked to the Crafts of Palawan booth which encouraged the exhibitors to join the succeeding editions of Manila FAME as well as other local and international trade shows.
“It’s not just the sales, but the experience here as well. They (the companies) observe a lot of things in this area. They see new ideas from other producers and their competitors. We can say that we have achieved our goals,” said Avancena, adding that the USAID is in close touch with the Provincial Government of Palawan to discuss possibilities of continuing the noble project to help local MSMEs in promoting their products and expanding their business networks.
The COMPETE Project is a four-year project funded by USAID which aims to assist the Philippines in improving its competitiveness to attain higher levels of trade and investment. USAID-COMPETE targets to develop the main sectors named in the Philippine Development Plan such as the tourism, manufacturing, logistics, and agribusiness sectors.
To boost the tourism sector of the country, USAID-COMPETE and the Provincial Government of Palawan launched a souvenir products development program for the artisans of the province, which serves as the debut collaborative effort for an exhibit at the 63rd edition of Manila FAME.
The Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the export promotions arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP), which recently entered into a partnership to help secure the foothold of Philippine design and architectural enterprises in the global scene, reinforced their alliance by supporting each other’s signature events, Manila FAME April 2016 and UAP CONEX (Convention Exhibits) 2016.
During its three-day run, UAP CONEX 2016 featured the Manila FAME Pavilion, which exhibited some of the best furniture, lighting, and home accents crafted by Filipino manufacturers. Meanwhile, UAP CONEX delegates visited Manila FAME during its opening day, in support of the trade show and the Philippine design industry.
Through the DTI-CITEM and UAP partnership, Manila FAME and Philippine MSMEs can create new networks and strengthen their current connections to UAP’s 27,000 members as well as the leading architects and builders worldwide who are linked with UAP through significant organizations such as the UIA (Union Internationales des Architectes or International Union of Architects) and ARCASIA (Architects Regional Council). Meanwhile, UAP architects can find creative inspiration and valuable ideas through Manila FAME, which features one-of-a-kind, innovative, and sustainable furniture, home furnishings, holiday gifts and décor, and fashion accessories by Filipino designers and artisans.
The April 2016 boutique edition of Manila FAME, Asia’s premier design and lifestyle event that showcases craftsmanship, design innovation, and artisanship, was held by CITEM on April 21-24, 2016 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City. UAP CONEX 2016, the Philippines’ leading building and construction expo, was held by UAP on April 21-23, 2016 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.
For more information, visit http://www.manilafame.com
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) staged just recently Slingshot Philippines 2016, the National Summit on Startups and Innovation, at the Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC) in Pasay City, kicking off a two-day national summit on startups and innovation with the theme, “Accelerating the Innovation Economy.”
The two-day summit provided an opportunity to gather under one roof young minds with big ideas, innovators in constant pursuit of new things to benefit their community, supportive investors who fund start-up ideas and the policymakers whose role is to provide an enabling business environment.
The event kicked off national consultations for the crafting of policies and programs to develop a new breed of innovative enterprises, covering the fields of agriculture, biotechnology, electronics, and digital startups, among others.
Around 50 speakers and panelists spoke on issues concerning funding, the current status and the future of Philippine startups, and strategies towards a Philippine innovation economy before 577 conference delegates who gathered at Slingshot Philippines 2016 to actively take part in a government-initiated platform for public dialogue and partnership that will help boost the development of Philippine startups for a robust innovation economy.
“Changing the ecosystem and putting in place policies responsive to the needs of the innovativion economy will not happen overnight. However, close collaboration of the government and key players will enable the Philippines to foster the desired new breed of business more quickly and efficiently. We want the next big tech startup to come from the Philippines ,” said Trade Secretary Adrian Cristobal, Jr.
Secretary Cristobal, a steadfast advocate of MSMEs as an integral part of the country’s pursuit towards regional economic integration and the attainment of equitable and inclusive growth, pointed out the government’s main role in the upbringing of the innovation economy. DTI has started implementing programs such as Slingshot to help overcome the hindrances that constrain the growth of MSMEs as well as provide startups and innovative businesses an environment that will nurture their capabilities.
In 2015, the Philippine government and startup community unveiled a roadmap which will serve as a framework in building a thriving ecosystem in the next few years. From a hundred, the country targets to have 500 startups with total valuation of USD2 B by 2020. This roadmap also serves as the basis for Senator Paolo “Bam” Aquino IV’s Startup Bill which is set to be filed at the 17th Congress in July. This proposed policy will exempt startup entrepreneurs from paying taxes in their first two years, enabling an inclusive growth to their budding business.
For three years in the senate, Senator Aquino has been the forerunner of six startup-friendly policies that support the innovation community. Among these are the Go Negosyo Act (RA 10644) which initiates the establishment of ‘Negosyo Centers’ that create linkages to bigger markets and financing as well as provide jobs and livelihood to people, the Microfinance NGOs Act (RA 10693) which supports the groups that guide and empower micro entreprenuers, and the Youth Entrepreneurship & Financial Literacy Act (RA 10679) which builds a culture of entrepreneurship as an alternative solution to unemployment and underemployment.
“Why (support) MSMEs? Because we must. Our MSME sector is at the forefront of pushing the growth of the Philippines,” said Senator Paolo “Bam” Aquino IV, chair of the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship.
For her part, Trade Undersecretary Nora Terrado of the Industry Promotions Group (IPG) commended the local economy’s unyielding growth despite the many challenges the country faces with the global economic slowdown. “We have gained momentum, but we can do more. We realized from our dialogues with the private sector that our country can benefit from a far-reaching and scalable innovation within a well-planned, well-organized government supported frameworks,” said Terrado.
Over the past few years, the Philippine economy has shown a promising ground for the startup community. In 2015, the country jumped 83rd in the Global Innovation Index, 17 notches higher from its previous rank in 2014. Bloomberg Businessweek also revealed that the Philippines’ ranked sixth among the top countries where talents are being sourced.
The current status of the Philippine economy will serve as a viable launching pad for local startups and innovators to make it in the global market. The country is the second fastest-growing economy in Asia next to China and it currently flourishes from a positive business climate, a population of young, English-proficient speakers; and the stable remittances from overseas Filipinos.
Slingshot Philippines 2016 was the direct offshoot of Slingshot Manila 2015, the official startup and innovation event for the Philippines’ hosting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) organized by the DTI in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and other key industry stakeholders. It was held in conjunction with the recently concluded 63rd edition of Manila FAME and Design Week Philippines (DWP).
The Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the export promotions arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP) forge a partnership that aims to fortify the foothold of Philippine design and architectural enterprises in the global scene.
“We recognize the magnitude of this partnership as it establishes new networks for Philippine MSMEs with major players in the industry. It will open new platforms to showcase products and new opportunities to demonstrate the local arts and crafts of artisans and designers not only to the 24,000 members of UAP but also to the leading architects and builders worldwide who are connected to UAP through significant organizations such as UIA (Union Internationales des Architectes, or International Union of Architects) and ARCASIA (Architects Regional Council),” said CITEM Executive Director Rosvi C. Gaetos. UIA represents more than one million architects in 124 countries all over the world while ARCASIA is an association of 17 national institutes for architects in the Philippines, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Through this reach of UAP to numerous architectural organizations and events, the collaboration between CITEM and UAP will strengthen the presence of Manila FAME and Philippine MSMEs abroad, connecting the trade show and its participating manufacturers, exporters, designers, artisans, and entrepreneurs to key individuals in the construction and building industry, various related sectors, and numerous architects and builders associations in the world who are constantly searching for top quality, eco-friendly, and innovative products and services in the market.
CITEM, on the other hand, is the owner and organizer of Manila FAME, the Philippines’ premier bi-annual showcase of design and craftsmanship. The exhibition features unique, innovative, and sustainable furniture, home furnishings, holiday gifts and décor, as well as fashion accessories, all designed and crafted by Philippine artisans for the highly discerning global audience. A show attended by industry decision-makers, Manila FAME brings thousands of local and international trade buyers and visitors, including owners, managers, and purchasing directors of global lifestyle retail companies to source from the best export manufacturers in the Philippines.
Manila FAME is also attended by seasoned and rising design talents, both from the local scene and abroad, looking for the latest trends in design, materials, and production, and most especially, for stirring, one-of-a-kind, design concepts.
“Creative inspiration is vital to all architects. UAP’s collaboration with CITEM and Manila FAME will provide the NATCON-CONEX delegates an invaluable source of inspiration and innovative ideas,” said UAP National President Architect Ma. Benita O. Regala.
Over 2,400 Filipino and foreign architects are expected to attend NATCON-CONEX 2016, all of whom will be granted access to Manila FAME. Similarly, top buyers and VIP guests of Manila FAME will also be welcome at the NATCON-CONEX 2016.
CITEM is the organizer of Manila FAME, the Philippines’ premier design and lifestyle event. A bi-annual trade show, it features finely selected furniture and home furnishings, holiday gifts and décor, and fashion accessories, designed and crafted in the Philippines for the global market. Manila FAME will run from April 21-24, 2016, at the World Trade Center, Pasay City, Philippines.
The country’s leading building and construction exhibition, the UAP CONEX unites all construction industry sectors and demonstrates state of the art products, technologies, equipment and materials in the market. CONEX will be held on April 21-23, 2016, at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City, Philippines.
For more information, visit www. manilafame.com
Registration is still open for the 63rd show edition of Manila FAME, the country’s premier design and lifestyle event, slated at the World Trade Center in Pasay City on April 21-24.
For this show edition, Manila FAME returns to the April sourcing circuit to bring the global trade buyers to the optimal buying circle. As it shifts gears and evolves into its Boutique Show Edition, the trade event will stage a more sophisticated and more exclusive show that will cater to the strict buying standards of select local and international trade buyers.
Manila FAME is a bi-annual showcase of craftsmanship, design innovation, and artisanship of Philippine products organized by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the export promotions arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
With its commitment to promote the business of Philippines micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), Manila FAME offers special product development and coaching programs that assist and nurture local companies, entrepreneurs, design talents and industry practitioners in business improvement and export marketing. It is an excellent sourcing and networking platform for MSMEs looking for business opportunity in both domestic and export markets.
The trade show runs a buyer incentive program that ensures the arrival of overseas trade buyers and visitors composed of a wide range of renowned and influential retail chains and professionals across the globe such as ADEO Group; BENELIC Co., Ltd.; Comercio de Artigos de Moda Salsa, Ltda.; Crate & Barrel; El Corte Inglés; Elizabeth McAlpin, Inc.; Galeries Lafayette; GARANT Group; Haans Lifestyle; Kika Style, Inc.; La Maison d’Ivoire; LuLu Group International; Napa Home and Garden; ŐZARTAŞ AVIZE; Ralph Lauren; Royal Palace Group; Target Corporation and Williams-Sonoma. The show also attracts architects, interior designers, real estate developers and the specifiers from the hospitality sector.
Manila FAME is open to manufacturers, suppliers, independent designers of home accents (baskets and storage, lamp and lighting, and garden accessories), gift items (cards and stationeries, gift boxes, and toys), holiday décor (Christmas ornaments and hangings and figurines), fashion accessories (fine and costume jewelry and footwear), furniture, and arts and crafts.
To participate in the Manila FAME: The Boutique Show Edition, interested parties may log in to www.manilafame.com to accomplish the online application form or call 831-2201 loc. 242 for more details.