Business conference ‘to showcase Mandaue’

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Thursday, August 14, 2014


WHILE Cebu has always been a popular business and tourism destination in the country, not many are familiar with Mandaue City’s contribution to its economy.

For the leaders of the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry, (MCCI), hosting the 23rd Visayas Area Business Conference next week is an opportunity for the city to showcase what it has to offer.

“Everybody knows where Cebu is but some ask, ‘where is Mandaue?’ Before you enter Cebu, whether it is by land, air or by sea, you must enter Mandaue first,” said MBM overall chairperson Marylou Ang. She said the conference will allow them to show that Mandaue is where world-class products are made, from furniture, fashion accessories, bronze bearings, dried fruits and many family-owned businesses.

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Business chambers

The VABC is an annual conference among the business chambers in the Visayas and the MCCI won the bid to host it in time for their annual celebration of Mandaue Business Month (MBM).

Event chairperson Stanley Go said the Mandaue Business Summit is one of the highlights of the MBM and they consider it an honor to host this year’s VABC as a single event.

The VABC is one of five area business conferences held by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry around the country. The issues and concerns raised during the conference will be consolidated and tackled during the PCCI’s annual Philippine Business Conference in October and submitted to the respective government agencies for action.

Go said that this year’s conference is significant because it immediately follows the twin disasters that hit the region last year.

The MCCI won the bid to host this year’s VABC after meeting a set of criteria. PCCI vice president for the Visayas Jose Ng said bidders must show that their location has a convention hall that can seat between 300 and 400 participants, good hotel accommodations and accessible transportation.

A meeting among the officers of the 17 business chambers will be held at the Dohera Hotel in AC Cortes St. on Aug. 21 while the conference proper will be on Aug. 22 at the Oakridge Pavilion on AS Fortuna St.

Participants

Go said they hope to see 300 to 450 participants, including up to 150 guests from local chambers in the country and at least 200 entrepreneurs in Cebu.

He believes the conference will be worthwhile for the business sector, saying they have chosen a lineup of speakers than can help in most aspects of business.

Dr. Cielito Habito, a professor of the Ateneo de Manila University’s School of Social Sciences, will speak on the prospects and implications for business and the economy during the Asean economic integration.

Dr. Vicky Belo will expound on how she built her personal brand and how she revolutionized the beauty industry in the country.

Joining her is Goldilocks Bakeshop marketing director Pinky Yee, who will speak on entrepreneurship through innovation.

ABS-CBN regional network group news head Charie Villa will give a talk on how to deal with media in times of disaster, which Go believes most companies will appreciate. He said companies may have to face the press in case accidents or other incidents occur and that knowing how to convey the message that they are doing the right thing, rather than hiding information, will help them mitigate the crisis.

Family business

Ricardo Hizon Mercado, director of the Family Business Development Center of the John Gokongwei School of Management, will have a discussion on the two sides of a family business.

Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes will also share what businesses can expect from the city while Senator Alan Peter Cayetano is expected join a panel discussion on policy issues affecting the Visayas.

To end the conference, a fellowship dinner will be held as a fundraising activity, featuring a fashion show inspired by the industries of Mandaue City to be modeled by personalities in Cebu.

For Go, even if a business is not in the same industry as those of the speakers, they can still learn from some things being discussed and apply these to their own establishments. “As businessmen, we cannot do what our competitors are doing. We will not stand out. We can listen to the different speakers and apply some of their practices to our own businesses to make ourselves different from the competition,” he said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 15, 2014.

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