STO. TOMAS -- Micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs) in Central Luzon have long been ready to the challenge of integrating the local market to the demands of the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean), said Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Central Luzon Director Judith Angeles.

She noted that DTI has been implementing preparatory measures as early as 2005 to gear up MSMEs in the country. These include seminars, trainings and DTI’s flagship program MSME Roving Academy.

Through the said activities, MSMEs gain knowledge on how to improve their products and make it competitive for the global market, Angeles said.

“Very ready na ang mga MSMEs natin dito sa rehiyon. Participative naman sila sa mga trainings, seminars at gatherings na ino-organize ng DTI at isa ‘yun sa mga gauge natin,” she added.

Angeles also stressed that Filipino products, especially those coming from the region, are very unique and of world-class quality that are ready for exporting.

She cited the caskets and pots from the Sto. Tomas, giant and colorful lanterns from the City of San Fernando, seafood products from Masantol and Candaba which are now taking the spotlight and are very in demand in different foreign countries.

This is aside from the world-class services offered by Filipinos which are very much appreciated by foreign nations, Angeles added.

“Pagdating naman sa gawang Pinoy, hindi na mahirap ibenta dahil kilala at tiwala na. Basta mayroon lang silang mga machineries and facilities na ipinapahiram naman ng DTI under our Shared Service Facility program, at kaunting ayos lang sa packaging with the help of DOST (Department of Science and Technology) tapos ready na for exporting,” she said.

Angeles added that the DTI is also assisting MSMEs in improving their communication skills in order to properly market their products to foreign companies and organizations.

She said that such skill is important to avoid confusion on both buyers and sellers and avoid wasting time and resources.

Meanwhile, Angeles noted that several products from Central Luzon will be showcased in the upcoming Asean Summit and Related Meetings to be held on November 13 to 15 in various places in the country.

The expected arrival of foreign leaders in Clark may also serve as a channel for MSMEs in the region to market their products to rich and powerful nations, she added.