The five-day fair, taking place from May 21-25 2014, was launched last year as the first national fashion event. This year, it attracted more than 150 exhibitors from 15 regions, showcasing a wide range of apparel, accessories and other products. “Trade fairs have been, by far, the most effective strategy, especially in industries that have potential to attract wholesale and retail buyers,” said Manalo.
The country is hoping for the opening of the ASEAN free trade market in 2015 and the competitive position its fashion, textile and garment industry is currently in, aiming to increase its export share. “We would like to showcase the ability of Filipino designers, dressmakers and shoemakers to be able to capture the wide global market,” added Manalo.
In the first quarter of the year (January to March 2014), Philippine apparel and accessories exports reached 433.527 million US dollars, an increase of almost 4 percent compared to 417.008 million US dollars in the first quarter of 2013 according to the National Statistics Office. Micro, small, and medium enterprises generate about 60 percent of these exports.