CITEM targets $25-M sales from FAME trade show

By Louella D. Desiderio, The Philippine Star

Posted at Mar 15 2014 09:24 AM | Updated as of Mar 15 2014 05:24 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) aims to generate $25 million worth of on-the-spot sales from the March edition of the Manila FAME trade show.

“We want to have at least $25 million on-the-spot sales from this show,” CITEM executive director Rosario Virginia Gaetos told reporters on the sidelines of the Manila FAME trade show yesterday.

The Manila FAME trade show, held in March and October every year is the country’s premiere trade platform for export and design, featuring various products for export such as furniture, handicrafts and wearable accessories.

During the Manila FAME show held last October, exhibitors had $20 million worth of sales from on-the-spot purchases.

Gaetos said on-the-spot sales used to be bigger, reaching about $150 million per show until China became a major player in the global market, offering lower prices for products.

She noted though that China should not be considered as threat by exporters.

“Let us look at China as a potential market. The Chinese market has changed,” she said citing that these consumers no longer prefer cheap fake goods and now opt to purchase higher quality products.

Gaetos said the government also wants to continue its promotions in the US, which is the country’s biggest market for furniture, handicraft and wearable exports.

In line with this effort, the CITEM is bringing 15 companies to participate in the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in the US this May to link them with more buyers.

Aside from China and the US, Gaetos said the government also wants exporters to tap emerging markets such as Nigeria, Turkey and Kazakhstan.

“We want to tap the emerging markets because they are new. They are interested (in our products),” she said.

The government likewise wants exporters to get more buyers from countries like the United Arab Emirates where many construction developments are being undertaken.

To position the country as a go-to destination for trendy designs and product innovations, the government is also providing support to young, up and coming Filipino designers under the Red Box program.

Through the program, the government provides assistance to a select group of young designers to enable them to take part in trade shows and to link them to local manufacturers.

“Red Box is the perfect platform for budding designers, as well as local manufacturers to exchange knowledge on design, innovation, and craftsmanship. It really helps parties realize their concepts and ideas,” Gaetos said.

To support the growth in the country’s exports, she said the government intends to continue conducting the Manila FAME trade show in the coming years.

“Two hundred to 300 exporters cannot afford to go overseas so we have to maintain this platform. As long as SMEs (small and medium enterprises) need us, we will continue having Manila FAME,” Gaetos said.

Now on its 31st year, the Manila FAME organized by the CITEM is the second longest-running trade show in the Asia Pacific and the only trade event in the Philippines approved by the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry.