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Bohol Sandugo Exhibit Eyes 26 Million In Sales
« on: July 25, 2008, 05:57:42 PM »
By Rey Anthony Chiu - PIA

  One of the country’s longest running annual provincial trade fairs unroll this week at the Island City Mall, and fair organizers pegged a lofty goal: top the P26M in sales generated last year. 

  With the present regional economic crunch, surpassing the figure may be ambitious, but exhibitors of the annual Sandugo Product Showcase have high hopes it is attainable, with the fair’s track record. 

  After all, the annual products fair which has humble roots at the Capitol Plaza now displays in a mall, then a small town fair, now a regional marketing event featuring products from region 6, 7, 8 and Mindanao, has become a regular calendar event for buyers and exporters, admits Visayas trade and industry director Asteria Caberte.

  Sales means jobs and that should equate to food in the table, asserts Bohol DTI manager Ma. Elena Arbon, during the press conference before the fair opened. 

  Evidently proud of the long running product showcase that she helped put up as a provincial director in Bohol then, Caberte said the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has been fairly successful in harnessing the creativity of traditional craftsmen to showcase world-class products in the last 20 years that the showcase opens.

  Then a true volume market event for baskets and local crafts, the DTI assisted design development has woven into new niche, exhibitors agree. 

  The shift towards enhancing products design opened for local crafts manufacturers after realizing that competing with China puts the local industry in a compromising situation in the international market. 

  For Caberte, while competing with China would be futile, diverting into design opens a bright prospect for local manufacturers. So while the DTI forefronts in training craftsmen in products development and maximize their ingenuity, local producers also diversify into a fusion of local designs using a plethora of available raw materials, a trade and investment officer added.     

  The Sandugo trade fair is a culmination of a series of product development initiatives geared towards improving the quality and design of the export-oriented crafts and ethnic food in the region, states a prepared press material by fair organizers.

  Other than the local products, this year’s showcase also focuses on the One-Town-One-Product (OTOP) as development and branding strategy.

  Leading Bohol’s 33 exhibitors is the OTOP Inabanga, with its raw material raffia and its by-products while local booths exhibit processed food, fashion accessories and souvenir items, Antequera baskets, mats, decors, toys and household items.   

  Cebu 23 exhibitors put up products ranging from fashion accessories, handicrafts, guitars and souvenir items.     

  Siquijor’s 13 exhibitors show fashion accessories and wearables, bags, housewares, and its tourism promotions booth. 

  Negros Oriental puts up 9 exhibitors displaying stone crafts, fashion accessories and home items.

  Guest exhibitors this year are Albay and Surigao del Sur.

  Here, as it is regional, Central Visayas’ best products, especially those using indigenous raw materials and local ingenuity take the booths, in a bid again to perk communities into home industry and handicraft productivity.       

  Now displaying at the first and second level aisles of the Island City Mall, the 2nd regional Product and Raw Material Showcase also exhibits raw materials gallery for buyers and designers for on the spot crafting.

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