Two Negrense entrepreneurs will be part of the delegation to represent the Philippines in an international trade fair exhibition in Germany this week.
Doreen Alicia Peña of Silay Export Inc., and Maria Antoinette Colmenares of Artisana Island Crafts, will join 10 other entrepreneurs from the country to exhibit in the annual Ambiente Frankfurt International Consumer Goods Fair in Frankfurt, Germany, on Feb. 9 to 10.
They were chosen by the Export Marketing Bureau of the Department of Trade and Industry, to exhibit their crafts in the Philippine booth, Senior Trade and Industry specialist Mae Buaron said yesterday.
Ambiente is considered one of the biggest trade exhibitions in Europe, participated in by 4,460 exhibitors from 94 countries, with an averagenumber of annual visitors of about 200,000 from across the globe.
Both Peña and Colmenaresare leaving today and bringing with them their home décor and houseware products under the creative industry made of local materials from Negros.
EMB-DTI subsidized the representatives of the country and for Colmenares, who is also the head of the Provincial Micro, Small, and MediumEnterprise Development Council, this exhibit could be an opportunity for them to attract more global buyers.
“This will mean more dollar revenues for the country and more job opportunities for the community and villages where we partner to make our products,” she said in an interview yesterday.
She said she will show home decors and houseware made of raw materials, like pandan, abaca, ceramics, and other mixed media materials from Artisana, while Peña will exhibit products from Silay Export, like home accents such as trays, fruit containers made of fossilized leaves, banana bark, and coconut shells, as well as rattan lamps.
Peña said she is optimistic that more potential buyers will be attracted to the Philippine-made products as it will mean more volume of production and more jobs for the people.
SUBSIDY FOR MSMEs
With the emergence of international shows that opened opportunities for small entrepreneurs, Colmenares is also urging the government to give more subsidies to MSMEs to encourage them to join these kinds of events.
She said the government should also subsidize MSMEs across the country to participate in these kinds of exhibits that will also encourage them to export their products.
“We used to join the Ambiente exhibit but because of the weakening of the peso, we did not participate as it would be expensive for us without subsidy from the government,” Colmenares said.
More incentives, more subsidies, and more opportunities to access the market are needed to boost the local MSMEs, she added.
“Exploring opportunities in the export marketwillneed a big investment from us and the government should intervene by giving more subsidies to MSMEs,” Colmenares also said. *MLG
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