CEBU, Philippines - Cebuano exporters, specifically in furniture, fashion accessories, and gifts-toys-and-houseware sectors are told to take good care of their designers, as Chinese manufacturers are eyeing to hire more Filipino designers to boost their exports of the same product.
China, which is also considered as the alternative market for furniture, accessories and other home furnishing products, has continued to pose threat for the Filipino exporters, while some Chinese companies are now hiring world-renowned designers, said Chinese marketing expert Henry Hwang.
According to Hwang Filipino designers are highly regarded by Chinese companies. Five years ago, he said a designer was paid an average of US$20,000 a month. Now, monthly salary for good designers in China would range from US$25,000 to US$30,000 a month.
Hwang urged Cebuano exporters to sustain its niche in design, as this is the only one that put the Philippine products ahead of other competitors.
Putting premium to the works of the designers should be put at the top priority. Otherwise, the Philippine’s competitive edge in design will ultimately be snatched by other competitor countries like China, while companies are taking advantage of the Filipino’s creative talents.
PhilExport-Cebu past president Alan Suarez admitted that Cebu is bound to experience shortage of good designers, if companies will not be able to provide good salary package, that would compete with offers from abroad.
“We have to continue encouraging more Filipino designers,” Suarez said.
Last year, the Cebu creative sector led by the Department of Trade and Industry Cebu Provincial Office (DTI-CPO) director Nelia F. Navarro announced that the sector is bound to get funding from different international funding agencies, in order to make a solid roadmap of the industry’s potential to develop the creative sector in Cebu, including the further development and sustaining good supply of designers
According to Navarro, the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) and Trade Related Technical Assistance (RTTA) are among the funding agencies that expressed support to further develop Cebu’s creative sector.
In 2010, the Creative Cebu Council Inc., was established in a bid to address varied concerns of the broad creative industry.
A survey from the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) showed that the creative sector in the Philippines is contributing US$592 million, with 5.2 percent of the country’s entire GDP. This does not include the creations made by non-IPO registered products.
On the other hand, Hwang urged exporters in Cebu to sell their good designed products to the market immediately, with or without patent yet.
According to Hwang, the market is fast moving, and a design cannot wait for months in order to be offered to the market, it should be out immediately.
Hwang reiterated the importance of designers in the export business, specifically in furniture, fashion accessories and home furnishing products. Philippines should be able to put premium on the good creative minds of Filipino designers, who are now in-demand in other countries. (FREEMAN)