Trade chief: Bank
on Pinoy’s ingenuity, craftsmanship
Meets industry players of
handicrafts and furniture
September 28, 2016
PASAY CITY –
Filipinos’ artisanship and craftsmanship in modern designs remain the
strength of handicraft and furniture industries, according to
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez, in his
remarks during the 2nd Philippine Homestyle Congress on 23 September.
During his engagement with
the Philippine Chamber of Handicraft Exporters and Artisans, Inc. (PCHEAI),
the Association of Handicraft Exporters (AHE) and the Chamber of
Furniture Industry of the Philippines (CFIP), Sec. Lopez urged
industry players to bank on the “highly-skilled, highly-trainable
workforce that showcases Filipinos’ ingenuity” amidst stiffer market
He also assured stakeholders
of handicraft and furniture industries that the government continues
to spearhead initiatives to help them excel at local and international
The trade chief noted that
both industries are dominated by micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs),
a sector, which is a priority of President Rodrigo Duterte’s inclusive
growth agenda, as well as of DTI’s Trabaho at Negosyo thrust.
“We are committed to infuse
an entrepreneurial mindset among MSMEs that will trigger the kind of
entrepreneurship that is idea-based, demand-driven and
innovation-led,” Sec. Lopez said.
He outlined government
initiatives, through the Philippine Trade and Investment Centers (PTICs),
the Design Center of the Philippines (DCP) and the Center for
International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), on the
handicraft industry including strengthening trade activities,
technology sharing and networking with local and foreign businessmen
and other design-related institutions.
He also said that e-commerce
through online shops is the new platform to promote MSME products.
Countries with high e-commerce penetration among consumers include the
UK, Germany, Korea, USA, France, UAE, Australia and Canada, where
another PTIC will be opened in October.
“Some of our home grown
brands are even recognized as trendsetters, alongside big names in the
world’s design capitals,” declared Sec. Lopez, adding that Filipinos’
innovative ideas blended well with companies’ confidence to experiment
and offer something new in the market.
The Design for Exports
Program and the Product Specialist Programs are also initiatives that
promote innovation, enhance collaboration among stakeholders, and
develop new perspectives, including through coaching, knowledge
sharing sessions and other activities that aim at honing skills to
create products for the global market.
On the furniture industry,
DTI, through the Board of Investments, has assisted in
capacity-building and development projects, such as the Homestyle
Forward: International Trends Workshop for SMEs and Design Students,
which prepares SMEs in the industry to be technically-capable in
creating products attuned to international trends.
Sec. Lopez also mentioned
that the implementation of the roadmap for the furniture industry
since 2014 has resulted to more technical assistance projects,
including granting of shared service facility to specific areas,
launching of information material on the industry, and initiatives on
product development and design education.
“We should bank on our
naturally gifted workforce, composed of great talents, who are capable
of staging Filipino products to the world,” Sec. Lopez concluded.