Quality CAR products poised to capture MM market

Products of at least 90 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) from the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) are expected to draw strong interest among consumers during the 10-day annual Impakabsat regional trade fair in Metro Manila from Nov. 17 to 26. 'We are always banking on the quality of the products we sell during the Impakabsat trade fair we organize every year. Our MSMEs are able to sell not only during the duration of the fair but even after that,' DTI-CAR assistant director lawyer Samuel Gallardo said in phone interview on Thursday. Gallardo said the department has partnered with a company that will showcase the products online to cater to those who cannot visit the trade fair. 'It is another avenue to sell more,' he said, but did not identify the firm tapped for the online offering. Gallardo said the fair recorded its highest sales in 2011 at PHP66 million. 'We have seen on many occasions that our MSMEs are developing regular market after the event because their existence was noticed by the buyers, and that is our goal --to allow the MSMEs to sell and earn and promote themselves to the world, especially with the online portal that we have for them this year,' he added. DTI data show there are over 20,000 MSMEs in the region, most of which are being assisted by the agency and other government offices to further enhance their economic venture and livelihood. This year's trade fair, named after the Ilocano word brotherhood as well as the collection of the first letter of the provinces that comprise the region -- Ifugao, Mountain Province, Abra, Kalinga, Apayao, Benguet together with Baguio, will be held at the Carousel Court of Festival Supermall in Alabang, Muntinlupa. It started in 1992 and showcases organic and natural products, fresh and processed food, wearables and homestyle, coffee, cacao, bamboo craft, woodcraft, furniture and furnishings, tourism product promotion, and creative allied industries like tattoo, arts and crafts and creative works. Source: Philippines News agency