Bracing Cebu’s position

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Sunday, May 11, 2014


DESPITE initial difficulty in getting sponsorships, the organizing committee of the Cebu Business Month came through.

Overall chairman Felix Tiukinhoy admitted that after the twin calamities that occurred in the last quarter of last year, the institutions they approached for sponsorship were hesitant, as their funds and efforts were tied up with relief efforts for survivors of the magnitude-7.2 earthquake and super typhoon Yolanda.

However, he said that this eventually worked in their favor, as the different committees had made their plans and they were already prepared with their activities that sponsors found it easy to pick events they wanted to be a part of. These include support from local government units.

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The Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry organizes the annual Cebu Business Month, which is held each June. The month-long celebration was launched last Friday with 20 events lined up.

This year’s theme is “Asean 2015 and Beyond”, in reference to the completion of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Economic Community.

The events are “geared towards strengthening Cebu’s position” to take advantage of opportunities available in an integrated community, especially in the areas of information and communication technology and business process management, tourism, entrepreneurship and creative industries.

‘Big and bold’

The grand opening salvo will occur two days early, which will showcase the celebration’s “big and bold” activities. Chaired by CCCI trustee Herminia Go, the highlights of the opening ceremony include VIP cocktails with a celebrity chef highlighting Southeast Asian cuisine.

The next day will have a jobs fair organized by job website Mynimo at the SM City Cebu Trade Hall.

On June 2 and 3, stakeholders in the ICT and BPM sector are expected to gather at the Cebu ICT-BPM Conference at the Marco Polo Plaza Hotel.

The conference, which is chaired by Cebu Educational Development Foundation for Information Technology managing director Wilfredo Sa-a Jr., is meant to intensify the application of new strategies, trends and operating models to match the industry’s changing requirements. They also hope to integrate and involve ICT councils, the government and private sector and educational institutions in developing training programs to be able to maintain a constant pool of skilled labor.

The conference will also discuss opportunities and challenges for the ICT-BPM sector under the Asean Economic Community and the impact of integration on the industry.

Startup Weekend

To complement the conference, technology enthusiasts will have a venue to share ideas, form teams and develop products for the Startup Weekend on June 6 to 8.

Three entrepreneurship seminars are scheduled for small and medium enterprises to help them better understand the effects of the Asean integration on their business.

The seminars are in phases to keep the learning light. These include building a national brand, taking a business global and the basics of exporting. These will be on June 10, 17 and 24.

Another seminar series will be held for franchising from June 12 to 14 at the Ayala Center Cebu.

For the second time, retailers will be participating in the Cebu In the Bag Island Madness Sale all month long.

To bolster Cebu’s tourism, the sale is meant to offer domestic and international tourists something to look forward to. Organizers hope to entice foreign traders and business partners through promoting products that are “locally branded and internationally acclaimed.”

Seven malls and shopping stores have signified their participation. Along with the event, Cebu Pacific Air will also be having an online seat sale while furniture and accessories exporters will be opening their showrooms to locals and giving discounted deals for their products.

President Aquino invited

On June 19, the Tourism and Investment Forum will tackle how to improve Cebu’s competitiveness in tourism to achieve inclusive growth. Topics include the national and regional tourism development plans, local government support programs, sustainability and resiliency and a Cebu tourism roadmap.

The following day, a roundtable discussion will be held tackling the economic development of Cebu. Tiukinhoy said they invited President Aquino to be the main guest. The event will also award businesses and investors that have made an impact on local tourism.

For the creative industries, an afternoon discussion among “creative minds” will be held on June 27, with internationally acclaimed designers Lyndon Neri and Dan Boyarski.

Other activities include a marathon, film festival, songwriting competition and golf tournament.

The celebration will be capped with an awards and fellowship night where different entrepreneurs will be recognized for their achievements.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 12, 2014.

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