CBM to focus on integration

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Monday, December 9, 2013

NEXT year’s celebration of Cebu Business Month (CBM) will focus on the Asean Economic Integration in 2015.

CBM chair Felix Tiukinhoy Jr. said in a press conference yesterday that aligning CBM’s activities with what will happen in the next two years will help the Cebu business community address the opportunities and challenges that the Asean integration would bring.

“The month-long activity aims to inspire and energize the business community with the establishment of Asean Economic Community by 2015,” said Tiukinhoy, the president of Virgina Food Corp.

“CCCI is taking on a proactive role to prepare our entrepreneurs not only with the opportunities but also full participation in this new economic order,” he said.

Asean — which includes Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia — agreed in 2007 to establish the Asean Economic Community. The free trade agreement will be fully implemented in 2015 by all members, except Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, which will join in 2018.


Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) president Lito Maderazo said they plan to forge partnerships with the latter four developing Asean members. He believes Cebu has a high chance of fostering business linkages with these countries.

CBM 2014 is anchored on the theme “Asean 2015 and Beyond.”

It has activities that aim to strengthen Cebu’s ranking in the field of entrepreneurship, information and communication technology and business process management (ICT-BPM), tourism and creative sectors.

Among the new activities for next year’s CBM is on tourism and foreign investments.

Sabino Dapat, CBM Tourism and Investment Promotions chair, said they plan to put development structures that will sustain efforts towards growing tourism and foreign direct investments into Cebu.

The committee wants to establish a non-profit entity called “Center in Cebu for Tourism and Foreign Direct Investment Promotion” under the umbrella of CCCI, whose activities will be linked with the Cebu local government unit (LGU)’s Business Development Councils to develop culture and orientation for tourism.

Dapat said they will hold workshop and summit on tourism and foreign investment in June.

Dapat, who is one of the six members of the board of trustees of Cebu Investment and Promotions Center (CIPC) who filed mass resignation at the Securities Exchange Commission last June 30, believes CCCI is the most credible organization to support the investment promotion activities of Cebu.

CBM will also improve on “Cebu in the Bag.” Tiukinhoy said the Bodega Sale of world-class Cebu exports brands in furniture, fashion accessories, gift, toys and decors will be promoted in Manila and Asean tourist markets.

Maderazo, who is CBM’s Asean Economic Integration chair, said they are starting the promotion as early as now so they can tie up with the Department of Tourism (DOT) in attracting tourist buyers and in the integration of the activity in tour packages in June next year.

The creative committee, on the other hand, will launch a Street Art competition which will be open to the public not only in Cebu but also to neighboring cities and


The committee will also mount a lifestyle exhibition showcasing designer products from various industries. They also plan to initiate series of ‘Salon Talks’, a kind of professional interaction between creative minds in various sectors about the business of art galleries, product designs, trends and design topics.

As for entrepreneurship, committee chair Apolinar Suarez Jr. said they will mount series of talks and workshops about Asean economic integration to create awareness especially among small and medium entrepreneurs.

“There is a need to inform players that Asean 2015 is not about threat and challenges but is an opportunity for Cebu players to grow and become big,” said Suarez.

CCCI also launched yesterday the CBM 2014 Theme Song Competition

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 10, 2013.


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