Farida Kamber Al Awadhi, Paul Raymund Cortes, Fenina Bonoan, Raymond Healy and other officials at the forum in Dubai on Sunday.
Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter
As many as thirteen Philippine lifestyle companies including four small-medium enterprises are in the UAE not only to build prospective partnerships with Middle East counterparts but also to explore the demands of the region for and beyond the much-anticipated ‘Expo 2020 Dubai’.
Owners and top management of these companies with six registered as exhibitors for ‘Index Dubai 2019’, scheduled from September 17 to 19 at the Dubai World Trade Centre, conducted their respective initial business-to-business talks with traders and suppliers on Sunday.
Manila’s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Export Marketing Bureau-Consumer and Industrial Division officer-in-charge Fenina Bonoan told Gulf Today the “Outbound Business Mission” (OBM) consisting of contract furniture, furnishings, fashion and apparel sectors from across the Philippines was “planned and intentional.”
“The last one we did for this (industry) was five years back. Through all the gap, the Middle East has become a potential market. We have seen that as through all those years, businessmen and other individuals from the region have been eventually sourcing from our own manufacturers and traders through the trade fairs we have had in the Philippines,” said Bonoan.
Bonoan said among the first-time OBM members are looking forward to secure transactions from the stakeholders—specifically from the hospital industry—of the Expo 2020 Dubai.
“These companies are now ready to market their innovative, sustainable and environment-friendly (artefacts).” During the ‘Furniture, Furnishings, Fashion & Apparel’ forum, the delegation was given an overview of the increasingly meticulous consumer market—a result of the UAE having become the gateway to the world by way of its multi-cultural fabric and international dealings.
UAE’s first interior designer/Association of Professional Interior Designers president/Emirates Business Council president Farida Kamber Al Awadhi and Retail Six Solutions Managing Director Raymond Healy said the market generally goes for quality, practicability, functionality, design and creativity.
They echoed what Consul General to Dubai and the Northern Emirates Paul Raymund Cortes had stressed in his welcome address regarding global competitiveness because that is the only way to survive in a highly cut-throat arena.
From the “Index Dubai 2019” alone, DTI-Centre for International Trade and Expositions is expecting $2.9 million gross sales from the generated $2.766 million in 2018 out of 1,000 buyer inquiries.