OPENING a pasalubong center in La Trinidad, Benguet, is one way of preparing entrepreneurs in the province for the Asean integration.

Launched last February, the center is managed by a group of entrepreneurs who call themselves the Benguet Micro Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (BeMSME)-13 with support from the provincial government.

BeMSME-13 members produce homegrown commodities such as jams and preserves, handicrafts, wines, and chips like potato, veggie and strawberry which they sell at the center.

The members come from the 13 municipalities of the province who have long been in business but were only recently organized, according to Camilo Alumit, Local Economic and Investment Promotion officer.

The provincial support comes in the form of product development, trade exposure, training, and other related activities and programs.

Alumit said the creation of the center is in line with the Asean integration that will affect businesses in Benguet since they need to follow global standards.

The Provincial Government is calling on other entrepreneurs to join the group, said Alumit.

To qualify as a member, the entrepreneur should be registered with government agencies regulating micro, small, and medium enterprises such as the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Labor and Employment and the Department of Science and Technology, he said. (Susan Aro)