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DTI turns over Sandugo trade expo to private sector partners

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, July 22 (PIA) -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Bohol has turned over the responsibility of running the province’s premier crafts fair and local products showcase to its private sector partners.

The crafts fair which started in 1989 jumped from one location to another until it finally found a permanent annual home in the Island City Mall, said John Jerome Gabin, DTI Bohol micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) Division Chief.

The fair, which has been an annual showcase local craftsmanship of the island’s rich heritage and cultural diversity, has been assisted by the DTI and its product development consultants to ensure their products have a market future.

The trade expo features a wide range of products including delicacies, wearables, furniture and housewares, and other souvenir and pasalubong items specially crafted by exhibitors from various parts of the country.

Gabin said this year is another opportunity for Bohol to embark on a transformative journey to a bright future, in a celebration of talents, creativity, and entrepreneurial spirit.

A few years ago, the owners of the same private mall intentionally bought a gigantic tent called the Block, to initially house the local products’ showcase at the ICM car park.

From its proven track record in sales for exhibitors, the provincial fair has attracted enough hype that regional and national exhibitors are flying in to join this year’s Sandugo Trade Expo 2023.

This year, with the management of the Sandugo Trade Expo now in the hands of ICM, 142 exhibitors from 25 provinces across the country in 120 booths have started selling their products since July 19, 2023, according to Provincial Administrator and then Sandugo Trade Fair founder Aster Caberte.

Trade Expo guest speaker Gil Zaire Carungay lauded the expo organizers for bringing in a bigger and better representation of the Philippine archipelago to Bohol, giving special interest in the processed food sector exhibitors for showcasing the designs and the delightful tastes of the cradle of creativity and culinary ingenuity, which highlight the deep connection between handmade crafts and the natural environment.

DTI, which initiated the trade fair to allow its assisted MSMEs venue to showcase their products, forged partnerships and equipped the private sector to set up, manage, and run a trade expo.

“DTI’s goal in at least within the next three years is to capacitate and empower local third party providers to fully organize, manage, and operate the Sandugo Trade Expo, which is the biggest and the largest trade show in the region,” shared DTI Bohol Officer In Charge Vierna Teresa Ligan.

Caberte, who conceived the provincial crafts fair during her stint as then DTI Bohol Provincial Director, described the move as a new business model.

She thanked the ICM management for agreeing to DTI’s suggestion to implement the new strategy.

“Now on the 15th year of the Sandugo Trade Expo, with over 120 exhibitors form Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, we are happy to tell the public that we have close to 20 first time exhibitors,” said Ligan.

Starting this year, the DTI’s role is focused on coordination activities as market promotion, which includes invitation of buyers and guests and in monitoring current and after fair sales. (RAHC/PIA7 Bohol)

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Rey Anthony Chiu

Regional Editor

Region 7

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