PH booths at China exposition disappoint Filipino-Chinese traders
KUNMING CITY, China — Imagine seeing your country with only two exhibition booths out of the more than 8,000 in a huge international exposition held in China.
The disappointment was simply undeniable as Manila-based journalists bumped into a group of Filipino-Chinese businessmen during the 5th China-South Asia Exposition 2018 held at Kunming Dianchi International Convention and Exhibition Center Thursday.
According to a briefer sent to the media, around 8,500 booths occupied the 190,000-square-meter exhibition area. And the Philippines was among the more than 80 countries that participated in the expo.
One of the two booths set up by the Philippines showcased the country’s native furniture and hats – a source of disappointment for officials and members of the Chinese Filipino Business Club Inc. (CFBCI), who flew all the way from Manila for the expo.
“Sayang eh, ang daming products na pwede nating ipasok dito,” Alejandro Co, executive vice president of the CFBCI, said in an interview.
[This is sad. We missed our chance to promote our products here.]
“Yung mga products nila, kaya naman nating gawin – dried mangoes, dried coconut, dried durian. Sayang, wala tayong exposure. Yun yung problema,” he said.
[We also have their products – dried mangoes, dried coconut, dried durian. It’s really sad. We don’t have exposure. That’s the problem.]
Co said he was not even sure if the government was aware of the ongoing expo here.
The group’s secretary-general, Cynthia Go, echoed Co’s sentiments as she lamented the government’s lack of support, especially for local farmers.
“Yung club namin, Chinese Filipino Business Club is promoting SMEs [small and medium enterprises] ang daming small businessmen and farmers ang lumalapit sa amin at sinasabing nahihirapan sila. Gaya nang sinasabi niya, yung mga packaging nahihirapan sila. Walang initiative from the government, especially financial support. Wala lahat,” Go said.
[Our club, the Chinese Filipino Business Club, is promoting SMEs. Many businessmen and farmers have been approaching us, telling us their problems in terms of packaging their products. There’s no initiative from the government, especially financial support. Nothing at all.]
Go even doubted whether all the products being displayed in the country’s booths were really made in the Philippines.
“Look at the center table doon nakalagay may Chinese character. Kung baga sa pagkain hindi authentic,” Go lamented.
Co hopes the government would provide more support for export sector by giving them incentives.
“Like in China, if you export something, you have rebate of taxes – tax rebate for the export products,” he said. /atm
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