THE Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (Philexport) will assist a Davao Region-based micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME), the Jellie's Country Pure and Natural Soap to penetrate export markets in Asia, a top official said.

Edwin A. Sotto, executive director of Philexport told Sun.Star Davao in an interview at the sidelines of the opening ceremonies of this year’s Mindanao Trade Expo (MTE) at the Abreeza Mall of Davao, that he saw huge export potential for this organic soap produced in Bansalan, Davao del Sur.

“As I roamed around the participating exhibitors, the Jellie’s Country Pure and Natural Soap got my attention, I talked to the owner and discussed that there is a surge of demand now in the Asean market or even outside Southeast Asia on a chemical-free, organic beauty products, and this (Jellie’s Country Pure and Natural Soap) has a very huge export potential,” he said.

Sotto emphasized that they will assist the MSME in product development, market promotions and help them engage in the exporter’s roadmap, true to its mission of promoting locally-made products.

“We will assist them in undergoing necessary trainings to fully develop their product and make it export-ready,” Sotto said.

He added that the product (small package) was already shipped to Hong Kong and was fully accepted by the Hong Kong market. Sotto underscored that it was already a good indicator that the product is indeed of export quality.

Meanwhile, a total of 80 member exhibitors participate for this year’s MTE, the first of three expo series in 2016 to be spearheaded by Mindanao Trade Expo Foundation Inc. (MTEFI).

“We are eyeing to generate in sales, cash and negotiated some P8 million for the weeklong expo,” Mae B. Alcantara, MTEFI treasurer and trustee in charge for trade events told Sun.Star Davao in a separate interview.

MTE Retail Show was opened on Wednesday, April 13 and will run until April 19, 2016 at the Abreeza Mall activity center.

The MTE Retail Show will highlight natural indigenous materials, food or non-food locally made in Mindanao. It is organized in partnership with PhilExport, Department of Trade and Industry, Abreeza Ayala Mall and Visit Davao Fun Sale 2016.

“MTE’s ultimate goal is putting up a venue for MSMEs to sell and expose their products,” Alcantar said.

For the year 2016, MTE is now in its 21st year of sustaining its commitment to continuously provide an avenue for Mindanao products to expand their market.

According to MTEFI, the exhibit, as of last year has already recorded around P1.3 billion of cash, booked and under negotiation sales, and promoted a total of 2,545 MSMEs.