Photo shows the staunch supporters and movers of the Philippine GDH sector during the MA’I Relaunch at the 69th Manila FAME. From L-R, standing: DTI Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) Assistant Director Anthony Rivera, DTI-EMB Director Senen Perlada, Philippine Federation of Furnishings Associations (PhilFFA) Secretary General Chiqui Veneracion, HAPI Presiden

Initiatives to further boost the country’s gifts, décor and houseware (GDH) are finally paying off as the Philippines continues to carve a niche in the international market as the preferred source of globally-competitive, innovative, and quality GDH products. 2018 trade statistics showed that while country’s total export sales went down, the GDH sector’s growth continue to shoot up with a 23.9 percent increase in exports from US $166.54 million in December 2017 to $206.34 million in December 2018.

The continuous growth of the country’s GDH sector is largely boosted by the collaborative efforts of government and private sector stakeholders to further push the competitiveness of the industry through various initiatives such as industry policy interventions, product development, strengthening the supply chain, and promotion activities.

A key promotion initiative was the relaunch of MA’I Lifestyle, the sector’s official brand, during the recently concluded 69th Manila FAME at the World Trade Center in Manila.

Conducted through the cooperation of five Business Support Organizations (BSOs) namely the Association of Negros Producers (ANP), Home Accents of the Philippines Inc. (HAPI), Mindanao Trade Exposition Foundation (MTE), Philippine Chamber of Handicraft Exporters and Artisans Inc. (PCHEAI), and the Philippine Lifestyle, Homestyle and Holiday Décor Association (PhilHHDA), the relaunch was a strategic move to spark brand recall for MA’I Lifestyle and further promote the Philippines as a primary source of reliable GDH products.

Upcoming initiatives to uphold MA’I Lifestyle were announced during the activity, including possible partnerships with the Department of Trade and Industry Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (DTI-CITEM) and Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) in tapping into new markets abroad by conducting missions and joining trade expositions. Likewise, seminars will be organized to help MA’I Lifestyle member companies comply with international buying standards. Select MA’I products were also showcased at the Design Commune, one of Manila FAME’s special show features.

The Philippine Board of Investments (BOI), the country’s lead industry development and investments promotion arm, played a vital role in the conception of the MA’I branding for the Philippine GDH sector with the development of the GDH Roadmap. During the Roadmap’s launch at the BOI’s Trade and Industry Development (TID) Updates forum back in July 2016, the need for the GDH companies to focus in building their corporate branding was raised.

BOI, along with BSOs and concerned stakeholders worked together to build a unified brand for the Philippine GDH sector, which includes the creation of brand name, logo, tagline, and visuals that will be used for the GDH sector’s website, catalogue, and participation to international exhibitions.

MA’I was first unveiled to the public during the 66th Manila FAME in October 2016, following the conduct of nationwide branding workshops and consultation sessions spearheaded by the BOI and the GDH BSOs.

For this year, the BOI will continue supporting the sector through partnerships with relevant agencies in identifying training opportunities that can further capacitate the industry.♦

Date of Release: 22 May 2019