DTI-12 holds online trade fair

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 19 February) – Region 12’s (Soccsksargen) prime export-quality products may now be accessed and purchased online through leading e–commerce site Shopee Philippines.

This, as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Region 12 launched on Friday a three-day online trade fair to help promote and market various products of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the area.

T’boli Joel Blunto, a ‘tau temwel’ (brass caster), does the finishing touches on traditional ornaments he makes in their village in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato on 18 August 2018. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO

Jude Constantine Jaugan, DTI-Region 12 director, said they partnered with Shopee to showcase the region’s products through a virtual exposition dubbed “Shopee x Treasures of Region 12: Tatak Pinoy!” from Feb. 19 to 21.

He said they pushed for such collaboration to continue showcasing the area’s products under the “new normal” in the wake of the continuing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

It was among the innovations that they introduced to help keep the MSMEs afloat and generate sales despite the limited public movements and physical engagements due to the pandemic, he said.

Jaugan said the “national online trade fair” is the first-ever organized by DTI-12 in partnership with an e-commerce company.

“We enlisted 80 MSME-exhibitors with about 350 food and non-food products for this event,” he said in a statement.

He said buyers may access the featured products through a microsite opened by Shopee for the virtual fair.

Starting Friday, he said Shopee’s front page will feature the “Tatak Pinoy!” campaign banner containing the logos of DTI and the participating stakeholders.

When clicked, the banner will lead users to the “Treasures of Region 12” microsite and will find the showcase of the region’s “best of the best” products, he said.

These include coffee, tuna chicharon, Tnalak-based wearable and decorative items, Tboli brass products, traditional wear, cacao nibs, and other food and non-food products.

Region 12 is currently considered the country’s biggest coffee producer, the country’s tuna capital and the fruit basket of Mindanao.

DTI-12, in collaboration with various government agencies and local government units, launched the “Treasures of Region 12” trade fair in 2014 to feature the products of its localities, among them export-ready food items, high-quality arts and crafts, and furniture.

It was conducted annually in various top event centers in Metro Manila and in this city.

The fair was temporarily shelved in 2019 due to the series of earthquakes that hit parts of Mindanao, including Region 12, and continued last year due to Covid-19.

The virtual trade fair is supported by DTI-Region 4A, Bureau of Domestic Trade Promotions, Go Lokal! and DTI/USAID’s Women Entrepreneurship Program. (MindaNews)