DTI: Bohol expo seen to surpass P15M goal in 2017
THE Department of Trade and Industry in Central Visayas (DTI-7) expects a bigger regional trade expo this year, even aiming to exceed its revenue target of P15 million for 2017.
Asteria Caberte, DTI-7 regional director, said they now have on board 120 exhibitors from the Visayas and Mindanao, up from 100 in 2016, for the Sandugo Trade Expo happening in Bohol this month.
“We have so many exhibitors this year to the point where some are already sharing booths. We hope to exceed our target revenue because of our number,” she told reporters in a press conference on Thursday.
Now on its 12th year, the trade exhibit will be held at the Island City Mall in Tagbilaran City from July 19 to 23.
The activity is part of the monthlong celebration of the Sandugo Festival, which is an annual celebration of the Treaty of Friendship between Bohol chieftain Datu Sikatuna and Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi.
Sandugo-related activities draw thousands of visitors each year, making it the perfect time to mount trade fairs such as this one.
Caberte said more exhibitors decided to join this year after seeing the success of the trade expo last year.
She said they targeted to generate P15 million in 2016 but were not sure if they will be able to hit it. But the DTI did and has decided to maintain the target for this year.
Among those that will be part of the upcoming expo are members of the Cebu Furniture Industries Foundation, Inc. (CFIF), a group which Caberte said has joined the event in the past but not in recent years.
The furniture sector is among the DTI’s priorities.
Caberte said over the years, the expo has expanded to include other regions such as Eastern Visayas, Western Visayas, Northern Mindanao and Caraga, among others.
Getting exhibitors from Mindanao did not come as a surprise to DTI despite what is happening in Marawi City today, Caberte said.
“We’re not surprised. When we close the exhibit last year, they were already inspired by the results. In Mindanao, it is business as usual,” she added.
Graduates of the DTI’s Kapatid Mentor Me program will also showcase their products at the fair, with Caberte saying that these exhibitors are the agency’s priority as well.
Prior to the weeklong event, the VisMin exhibitors underwent several product development and trade seminars with the DTI.
Caberte said she hopes the fair will become a launchpad for MSMEs, with the goal to have their products displayed in their own mall-based stores or on grocery store shelves.
“This is very important for MSMEs,” she said.
MSMEs account for 99.6 percent of businesses in the country and contribute to 70 percent of the national labor force, making it a major driver of economic growth.
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