LEA LARA, executive director of the Iloilo Business Club (IBC), Iloilo City Local Investment and Economic Promotion Office (LEIPO) Head Ritchel Gavan, and Alma May Tayo of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) Iloilo. (Photos by Emme Rose Santiagudo)
For the first time, a group of exhibitors from Iloilo will fly to China to represent the country in this year’s 5th Quanzhou Maritime Silk Road International Brand Expo (MSREXPO) on April 18-21, 2019.
Iloilo City Local Investment and Economic Promotion Office (LEIPO) head Ritchel Gavan said this would be the first time that the country will be joining the expo.
“This is the first time that the Philippines is joining the expo and we will be participating and representing the Philippines. The products that we will be bringing will showcase what is unique to Iloilo,” she said.
Recently, Iloilo City business leaders were personally invited by officials of the Quanzhou Municipal People’s Government to join the international expo.
Gavan said the invitation came after the city forged a friendly relationship with Quanzhou City way back in 2018.
According to Gavan, the international expo is an opportunity for Iloilo to introduce its products to the world.
“We are introducing products of Iloilo to the world, actually we are opening up to the rest of the world,” she said.
After going through an extensive process, the Iloilo delegation will be represented by five booths offering various food and textile products.
Food products, such as butterscotch, turmeric, and products of Balai Tablea, hablon collection of Jackie Peñalosa, Balai Hablon of Girlie Flores, collection of Hector Gellangarin, and products of the Women United Through Handcrafted Lace and Embroidery (WHUTLE) will be representing Iloilo and the country in the international expo.
Lea Lara, executive director of the Iloilo Business Club (IBC) said they chose the most unique products in Iloilo to be part of the delegation.
“We wanted to make sure that the products we brought there are also unique, distinct for Iloilo. We hope that our products will also have our separate market,” she said.
Lara emphasized that the participation of the delegation to the event will be part of their benchmarking initiatives.
“It’s really benchmarking. It’s the first time after the city and the province have significantly developed and we would also like to showcase how we fare in development, how products are being marketed and the preferences of international buyers,” she said.
As an old port city similar to Iloilo, Lara said they want to see how Quanzhou was able to shape its local economy from being an old city to one of the industrial cities in China.
“We are positioning ourselves as MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions, exhibits) so we would like to see how it is being handled especially with international guests,” she added.
The 5th Quanzhou Maritime Silk Road International Brand Expo will be held at Shishi Clothing City Exhibition Art Center, Fujian China on April 18-21.
With the theme, “New Maritime Silk Road, New Cooperation, New Life,” the expo is hosted by the China Chamber of International Commerce and is expected to attract over 300 exhibitors from over 40 countries and regions including more than 20,000 professional buyers.
A series of forums and match making meetings will be also held during the show.