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DTI mulls another exhibit during ASEAN meetings

CEBU, Philippines - The Philippines' hosting of several ASEAN meetings this year is seen to boost Cebu's gifts, decors, housewares and fashion accessories industries, as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) mulls of organizing another "Exquisitely Filipino" exhibit.

In an interview with DTI-7 regional director Aster Caberte, she said that Cebu, including other regions in the Philippines, will be able to showcase their export-quality products through another product exhibition during the ASEAN meetings.

In 2015, DTI-7 organized the "Exquisitely Filipino" exhibit for the APEC delegates, and DTI reported encouraging sales. This was followed by similar event held during the International Eucharistic Congress held in Cebu last year.

Caberte hopes that more exhibitors will benefit from the upcoming series of ASEAN meetings in the Philippines starting April this year. As the Philippines assumes the ASEAN chairmanship this year, the government officially launched the ASEAN 2017 in Davao City in January 15 this year.

The  30th ASEAN Summit is set on April 2017, other meetings are the 50th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting and Related Meetings coinciding with ASEAN’s 50th anniversary celebration in Metro Manila by August, and the 31st ASEAN Summit in Clark, Pampanga in November,

Although Cebu will only be part of the minor events, it may be included in the destination of some ASEAN ministers for their  R&R (rest and recreation) and side-trips, it is still expected to reap economic benefits especially the export quality souvenir items.

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During the APEC summit two years ago, DTI reported brisk sales of home décor, furniture, bags, accessories, and gift items and other merchandise made by Filipino artisans, most of whom are based in Cebu.

‘Exquisitely Filipino’, was a trade exhibit showcasing Filipino craftsmanship of export-quality products during the APEC conference held in Cebu two years ago.

Meeting give-aways and souvenir treats from the Philippines for the attendees might also be sourced from different local manufacturers all over the country, including GDH (gifts, decors and houseware) exporters and manufacturers from Cebu.

"Our hosting of the ASEAN meetings will give another opportunity for us to showcase not just our tourism destinations, but our world-class products to the delegates who are influential in their respective countries," added Caberte. (FREEMAN)

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