CBM events boost Cebu standing

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

THIS year’s Cebu Business Month (CBM) reaped significant benefits from exposure to investments, officials of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) said yesterday.

CBM 2013 chair Melanie Ng said in a press conference that the series of CBM activities this year strengthened further Cebu’s footing in the areas of tourism, creative sector, ICT-BPO and entrepreneurship.

Ng cited as example the Cebu in the Bag activity, which got the support of the Department of Tourism and was even replicated by DOT Davao City through Davao Fun Sale.

Possibilities of new joint ventures were also discussed right after the ICT-BPO conference.

“A lot of investors are coming to take advantage of the IT resources we have here.

More projects were proposed for the ICT sector,” Ng said at the sidelines of the chamber’s General Membership Meeting yesterday at the City Sports Club.

She said venture capitalists and consultants have also explored business opportunities during the startup events held during the CBM.

“All eyes are on Cebu now because we have a lot of things going on,” Ng said.

Cebu products also received positive feedbacks. According to Ng, some were “selling like hotcakes.” Ralfe Gourmet, for instance, gained national publicity and was able to forge partnerships with Manila firms.

Cebu products at the airport also gained a lot of exposure.

One significant output of the creative sector, on the other hand, is that it drew interest from foreign filmmakers to look at opportunities here.

Outgoing CCCI president Lito Maderazo said a Korean investor is currently in talks with Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama for the possibility of setting up a business enterprise for film production.

Antonio Tiu, CCCI’s vice president for external affairs, described 2013 as a challenging year because of the two calamities that hit the region.

But, he said, it paved the way for member companies to reach out to communities. He said it heightened the chamber’s corporate social responsibility initiatives.

Because of the chamber’s efforts in holding relief operations in calamity-stricken areas, Maderazo said three to four international funding organizations have approached them to handle their projects intended for the rebuilding of communities.

CCCI also launched yesterday the Centennial Business Access Card (CBAC), a privilege card which entitles each member company discounts, special offers and other privileges from fellow members.

CBAC was the revival of the Premium Privilege Plus Program (P4) previously launched by the chamber.

Maderazo said CBAC is also meant to give all members better business to business relation. He said it aimed to encourage and promote mutual patronage among CCCI members.

“This is not a recruitment strategy but this is more of a retention initiative,” he said.

CBAC has about 13 industry partners.

Thirty-three new companies joined CCCI this year. The chamber now has almost 800 member companies.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 19, 2013.


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