Ibrahim Guiamadel, Department of Trade and Industry Region 12 director, said at least 12 booths will feature the region's finest products that will include processed fish, processed fruit and various arts and crafts using the indigenous handwoven cloths, inaul and t'nalak.
Organized by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the annual products expo is slated on March 12 to 15 at the SMX Convention Center of the Mall of Asia in Pasay City.
"The NTF will allow our MSMEs to test their products (for possible entry) in the national and international markets," he said in a statement.
Guiamadel said the MSMEs from the region that signed up for the event are Kablon Farms Corporation, VMotril Food Products, South Valley Foods, Angel Joy Foods, Ninos Foods, Cresing's Coffee, Coco Wonder Sugar, KM Foods, RuralImprovement Club of Malapatan, Cotabato Bangala, MKM Brasswares, LakeviewNative Handicraft, Banga Cornhusk, Gensan Gardeners, Frivas Enterprise and the Mindanao Coco Fiber.
He said this year's number of participating firms from the region is so farthe highest as only two firms joined the NTF in 2007 and four in 2008.
"Some of the past participants have generated regular sales and established buyer-supplier linkage with institutional buyers while others benefited from the inputs given by buyers or the linkage established with possible buyers," he said.
For this year's NTF, Guimadel said they are very interested with the raw material setting, which will exhibit semi-processed materials and productsas organized by the DTI's Bureau of Domestic Trade.
He said semi-processed materials from the region, such as braided and twined corn husk, abaca fiber, handmade paper and coco-sugar, will be displayed for the first time in the NTF.
"This will provide the processors an information on what products can be produced out of these raw materials and where its producers can be found in the country," Guiamadel said.
Nelly Dillera, DTI Region 12's business development division chief, said a team from CITEM earlier visited the region to evaluate and select the best possible products for the NTF.
She said the CITEM group included a merchandiser from export firm Florence Foods Corporation and representatives from the DTI's Bureau of Domestic Trade.
Dillera said they made initial inquiries with Florence Foods on possible products from the region that may be supplied to the company, which operates as a one-stop-shop for overseas Filipinos.
"Initially there was an interest on certain processed fruits. Samples will be sent to the company for possible business matching," she added. (Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)