Mindanao Trade Expo says 'Hello Manila' Occasions

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Friday, October 7, 2011


MINDANAO Trade Expo (MTE) has been part of Dabawenyos' calendar of events almost every year. In fact, I would like to say that this occasion was "unofficially" part of Kadayawan Festival as it was usually held during the week-long celebration.

Last August, I was expecting for another MTE at Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Convention Hall. No, I don't have products to sell or promote during this time, but I love to shop some export-quality accessories at very reasonable prizes. MTE is also very close to my heart as I had been the event host for the last two years and never did I fail to cover it for news.

So, when I got hold of the invitation for the press launching of MTE 2011, I was a bit surprised. Why the change in schedule for MTE? I just wished the change was for the better.

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Indeed, my guess was right. After sixteen years of staging Mindanao Trade Expo in Davao City, MTE will say hello Manila. This ambitious and yes, expensive project dubbed as Mindanao ONE: A showcase of the Island's Abundance will be held on October 14-17, 2011 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

"If Manila investors and tourists are hesitant go to Mindanao, we will bring Mindanao to Manila," said Ann Pamintuan, president of Mindanao Trade Expo Foundation, Inc. (MTEFI).

The foundation was behind the success of MTE in more than a decade giving the small and medium entrepreneurs the opportunity to sell their products, increase their production and expand their markets. Since 1996, an estimated P741M negotiated sales were recorded.

The four-day exhibition will highlight Mindanao's skillfully-crafted and export quality products made of wood, fiber, coconut and other indigenous materials that will be displayed in a huge exhibition area with 275 booths.

At least three hundred exhibitors from Mindanao, Palawan and the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asia Growth Area (BIMP-Eaga) will be joining the event.

The Forum @ Mindanao ONE entitled Business for Peace will also be conducted where entrepreneurs, corporate and government leaders discuss on how to invest, influence and shape the business, technological and political landscapes of Mindanao.

Chambers of commerce from nine countries have committed to attend the forum while eight Foreign Service attachés are invited.

This year's MTE is also very exciting and interesting as six young and most promising designers from Mindanao are set to launch their products which consist of home accessories, house wares, furniture, bags, lampshades and novelty items made from indigenous materials like rattan, buri, abaca and bamboo, to name a few.

The Mindanao design team is composed of designers Emi Alexander Englis, Carmaela Alcantara and Fumiko Grace Kuroda from Davao City; Christopher Gomez and Nicole Cabanlet from Cagayan de Oro City; and Shila Maria Damalerio from General Santos City.

"We want our MTE exhibitors to graduate and become exporters," said Pamintuan who is also one of the mentors for furniture and jewelry designs.

Mindanao ONE is co-organized by Mindanao Trade Foundation, Inc. and Philippine Exporters Confederation 11 - Davao in cooperation with Philexport regional offices, BIMP-Eaga institutions, Mindanao Development Council, Mindanao Business Council, DENR, DOT, DTI, DA, DOST, NEDA, NSO, DCCCII, USAID’s Growth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM) Program and some Local Government Units.

For those who are interested to join and support Mindanao ONE, you may email mtefoundation@gmail.com or call +63-82-2227015 .

For now, let us wish Mindanao ONE all the best as it conquers Manila!

(For you compliment or suggestions pls. email ethel_constantino@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 07, 2011.

Lifestyle

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