MTE 2010 goes green

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/19 Aug) – Organizers of the Mindanao Trade Expo (MTE) 2010 are hoping to create a “paradigm shift” in doing business as it embraced an environment-friendly theme in this annual showcase of locally-made products.

About 100 booths filled up the convention center of the Central Bank of the Philippines here as the MTE 2010 opened as part of the highlights of the Kadayawan Festival this year.

MTE chair Ann Pamintuan, in her speech, stressed that MTE is helping to educate the entrepreneurs, consumers as well as students on the importance of protecting the environment.

Since most of the products on display are fashioned out of sustainable raw materials, Pamintuan stressed that MTE hopes it will be able to “make people realize that doing business and at the same time protecting our environment can be a good mix.”

Pamintuan said there is a growing demand for “green products” in the global market. Green products, she explained, use raw materials taken directly from the plant source.

“It is now an emerging trend and let this be a call to our entrepreneurs to find ways to adapt to this development,” she explained, adding that the challenge lies in coming up with innovative products that adhere to the latest eco-friendly fashion and marketing trends.

Among the products showcased are hand-made bags made of abaca fiber, coconut shells, water hyacinth stalks and other indigenous materials.

Others showcased furniture and home decors made of drift wood, durian papers, banana fibers and pandan stalks.

Pamintuan encouraged the local manufacturers to produce designs that radiate Mindanao’s passion and history since MTE has become a venue for small and medium entrepreneurs to showcase the finest products from the region.

MTE has allowed Mindanaoans to highlight the rich culture and traditions that have been preserved for centuries, such as weaving of abaca fiber with natural root dye as well as brass sculptures, she said. (Keith Bacongco / MindaNews)