CALAMBA CITY, Laguna— A select group of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) from the Calabarzon region (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon) has embarked on a 20-day business mission to Canada and the US from Nov. 12 to Dec. 2 this year.
The local entrepreneurs were accompanied by officials and representatives of the municipal government of Alabat, Quezon, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Calabarzon, and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Region 4-A.
The delegation is exploring joint venture and market arrangements in the two countries.
“I am hopeful that this mission will equip our MSMEs at the same time provide better opportunities for market linkages, business networking, and knowledge on market trends and innovative product developments in these lucrative markets,” DTI Calabarzon Regional Director Marilou Toledo, who heads the delegation, said.
The business mission will explore the possibilities through back-to-back (B2B) meetings, market outlet visits, and business matching sessions, Toledo said.
During the 20-day mission, a mini-exhibit featuring CALABARZON’s banner products will be mounted at the Philippine Consulate in Toronto, along with a business forum to be attended by about 80 members of the Canada-Philippines Chamber of Commerce.
“This trip to Canada is built on the long-held strategic partnership with the Canadian Executive Service Organization (CESO), one of Canada’s leading volunteer-based development organizations,” Toledo said.
At the CESO anniversary event where she is set to speak during the business mission, Toledo is expected to highlight the strong, over-a-decade partnership with the organization in coaching, mentoring, and providing consultancy assistance to Philippine MSMEs.
Among the business programs set up under the partnership is the Building Entrepreneurs through Advisory and Mentoring Services (BEAMS), which taps local or home-grown experts, coaches, and mentors to assist in the shared service facilities (SSF) projects.
“I am deeply privileged and honored to participate in CESO’s 50th-anniversary celebration in Toronto,” Toledo said, adding that DTI Calabarzon had been one of CESO’s strongest and most successful partners that had produced very positive results in strengthening MSMEs in the Philippines.
Joining Toledo on the government side of the mission are Director Susan Palo and Laura Jaraplasan of DTI’s Laguna Provincial Office; Regional Director Alex R. Madrigal and Assistant Regional Director Lydia S. Manguiat of the DOST; and Vermielyn Ortiz of the Philippine Coconut Research and Development Foundation (PCRDF).
Representatives of Amstature Foods (noodle products), Terra Vida Agri-Ventures (turmeric products), and Escaba Food Products (tropical fruit preserves) form part of the entrepreneurs joining the Canadian Leg, while the USA East Coast Leg will be composed of Escaba Food Products, BlueMacay Food Manufacturing Inc. (food ingredients), and Terra Vida Agri-Ventures.
These enterprises were selected based on their exhibited capabilities and potentials to expand operations beyond the domestic market and have undergone the branding and brand development seminar.
Joined by DOST, the delegation will also explore on the marketability of macapuno-derived products, such as the macapuno powder as food ingredient.
Toledo said that DTI had consistently faced challenges to develop stronger MSMEs in Calabarzon and the constant push for the MSMEs to go beyond the local market.
“Bringing our entrepreneurs to an outbound trade and business mission is not new to our region. Venturing out into the global arena through innovative and globally-competitive goods and services, we in Calabarzon will now pave further market inroads to Canada and the US,” Toledo said.