9th Likha ng Central Luzon trade fair held
by Eloisa P. Galang
San Fernando City, Pampanga (10 October) -- The annual Likha ng Central Luzon (LCL) trade fair had a rousing opening day at the SM Megatrade Hall in SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City last October 3, with a multi-sectoral attendance of various stakeholders.
Now on its ninth year, the LCL had for its theme "Natatanging Produkto, Ipagmalaki sa Buong Mundo", as it showcased the products which the provinces and towns of the region are principally known for.
Some 143 exhibitors from the food sector, giftware and holiday décor, wearables and accessories, furniture and home furnishings displayed their wares which from the opening day experience looked like they would be a hit among buyers until its conclusion on October 7.
The opening program had for its guest of honor Jose Ma. "Joey" Concepcion III, presidential adviser for entrepreneurship and head of the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc. (PCE).
"Despite political controversies, the peso and stock markets have been surging to record high levels. This shows that many of our people have matured and want to focus more on the economy rather than politics."
According to Concepcion, a research conducted by the PCE shows that micro enterprises comprise more than 90% of business in the country and yet these contribute only 30% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). For them to contribute more to the economy, Concepcion urges the government and other sectors to fully support micro and small enterprises.
"We should give them not only technical and financial support but most importantly, we should give them the confidence they need to hopefully turn them into becoming potential Sys, Caktiongs and other big entrepreneurs in the country today."
He congratulated the top three grossers of last year's Likha namely Better Country and Community Corporation (BCCP) of Nueva Ecija, first; Casamoda Handicraft of Nueva Ecija, second; and Froigene Handicraft of Bulacan, third.
He said he is bullish that in the next 12 months we will move further forward economically, and that they are doing their bit via the Go Negosyo caravans which the PCE has been conducting nationwide.
"We are scheduled to give out awards to 11 successful entrepreneurs in Pampanga, in the hope that they become role models for the young students from public high schools to emulate." He added that the PCE provides young students with books, audio-visual and other materials and whom they particularly orient and urge to consider the beauty of becoming young entrepreneurs in their Go Negosyo caravans nationwide.
In the response given by Joy Reyes of the BCCP, she acknowledged the help of the Nueva Ecija Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and particularly the LCL which matched them up with exporters and sub-contractors and linked them up with institutional and foreign buyers.
Aside from exhibitors, entrepreneurs, officials from the national and local government, the DTI and partner agencies supporting Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) development, buyers comprised a bulk of the crowd on LCL opening day. If this was anything to go by, then it would be safe to say that the ninth Likha is another successful endeavor. (PIA-Pampanga) [top]