APART from the chance to sell their products, participants in the Sinulog Fiesta Fair may benefit from assistance from the online marketplace Lazada, which the trade department has asked to help sellers from Jan. 19 to 21
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Cebu Province expects to make P5 million in sales at the end of the 11-day annual Sinulog Fiesta Fair.
The target, though, is lower than last year’s over P8 million in sales.
DTI Cebu Provincial Director Ma. Elena Arbon said they only have 60 participants this year, from 70 exhibitors last year. She added the exhibition will also run for only 11 days, as opposed to last year, which ran for more than two weeks.
The annual Sinulog Fiesta Fair is in collaboration with the Sinulog Foundation Inc. It showcases Filipino ingenuity and craftsmanship through high-quality yet affordable products from Cebu, Bohol, Negros Oriental, Zamboanga, Palawan, Caraga Region, Davao City and Baguio.
The exhibit will run from Jan. 12 to 22 in the atrium of SM City Cebu.
“The exhibit is mounted to support micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs) who need to develop new markets,” said Arbon.
Sinulog, which attracts domestic and foreign tourists, also serves as a venue for producers and manufacturers to meet new buyers and establish possible linkages with other suppliers.
The fair is one of the activities in support of the One Town, One Product program first introduced in 2002, which supports micro, small and medium enterprises, as well as encourages pride of place.
Leading them online
Arbon said they are also helping the MSME sector move into the digital space. It sought the expertise of Lazada, an online shopping site, to assist entrepreneurs get on board the online marketplace.
“A team from Lazada will be joining the exhibit from Jan. 19 to 21 to assist those who want to explore e-commerce opportunities,” said Arbon, adding that they are shifting their programs to e-commerce to help them reach a wider market.
The Lazada Group operates in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, and was founded in 2011 by Rocket Internet.
DTI Cebu has already helped 15 MSMEs get on board Lazada. Since they introduced e-commerce training in 2016, Arbon reported they were able to produce some 50 graduates.
“The thrust of the agency this year is still more on empowering the MSMEs to scale up and become more competitive, level them up in terms of the 7Ms (mindsets, mastery, mentoring, money, machine, market, (business) models,” said Arbon.
She added that they will continue to push for digital transformation in the business sector, support tech startups and spread more consumer education, especially with the adjustments required by new business models and tech disruptions. (KOC)