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SF mayor starts sister city visit with a stop at design center

/ 11:52 PM February 18, 2014

San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee and his wife, Anita, at the CITEM design center at the start of their San Francisco-Manila sister cities tour.

MANILA, Philippines — San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee said he believed builders in his city would be “inspired by the creativity of Philippine designers” and encouraged the development of organic, natural products to help sustain Philippine economic growth.

Lee began his Sister City SF-Manila visit with an afternoon stop at the Center for International Trade and Exhibition Missions where he, his wife Anita and his official entourage looked at the work of the country’s young designers as well as sampled food products from local makers that are trying to break into the US food market.

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“After two cups of chocolate liqueur I say Mabuhay Manila has really started,” Lee quipped. Mabuhay Manila is the appellation of the San Francisco-Manila Sister City trade trip by a delegation of some 60 community leaders and business people.

CITEM Executive Director Rozvi Gaetos welcomed Lee, stressing that “he is the first Asian American to be elected mayor of San Francisco. She noted that the US “is the Philippines most important trading partner and the source of many foreign buyers like Pottery Barn and Pier One Imports.”

The Philippines would like to get a bigger slice of the US food market, Gaetos told Lee and would like to collaborate with San Francisco on buying missions.

On hand at the Design Center to offer free tastings were Malagos Chocolate, Distelleria Limtuaco, Green Leaves Food Co. and Herbanext.

Tomorrow, at 9 a.m. Lee’s delegation will join Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada at a wreath laying ceremony at the Jose Rizal monument at the Luneta.

Lee will be conferrred an honorary degree at Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila and Mayor Estrada will host a dinner in his honor at the Manila Hotel.

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TAGS: business, Center for International Trade and Exhibition Missions, Design, exports, food products, imports, Philippine economic growth, San Francisco, San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee, sister cities, trade, US Food Marker
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