The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Region 4A, in cooperation with its provincial offices, celebrated the success of its yearly KALAKAL CALABARZON 2016: Mga Produktong Natatangi last October 12-16, 2016 at the Megatrade Hall 2, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City.

DTI-Regional Operations Group (DTI-ROG) Assistant Secretary Blesila A. Lantayona said that the National MSME Development Plan focuses on the business enabling environment, for instance, the ease of doing business and business registration issues, access to finance, market expansion, and enhancement of productivity and efficiency of the micro, small, and medium entrepreneurs.

“To be competitive in the market, it takes a lot of time and effort to nurture and develop the micro, small, and medium enterprises, a shared responsibility with other government line agencies, local governments, and non-government organizations,” Lantayona explained.

The KALAKAL CALABARZON 2016 is an annual trade fair featuring ingenious and innovative products from the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon. Over a hundred small and medium enterprises from the provinces of Ilocos Region, and beneficiaries from the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), Bottom-Up Budgeting (BuB), and Great Women Program joined the fair.

The KALAKAL CALABARZON 2016 aims to strengthen the linkages among the various players in the regional economic development by providing a wider and bigger venue of promotion of all its products and services and to create stronger linkages not only to government stakeholders but also to the private sector.

The special setting, “Best Products of CALABARZON,” highlighted the best products manufactured from the region such as bags, baskets, slippers, hats, shawls, storages, wine bags, and food like tablea, muscovado, coffee, honey vinegar, ginger tea, cashew nuts, etc. These products were chosen carefully by the representatives from the Association of Region IV-A Designers (ARD).

A series of trainings and seminars were also facilitated during the fair such as visual merchandising, basic sketching and shading, basic coloring, product design/development, among others.

“I’ve been joining DTI’s trade fairs since 2006. KALAKAL CALABARZON provides us valuable opportunities to meet new buyers and to develop business relationships with other clients and co-exhibitors,” said Ms. Elleazara Asis of Sweet Style Fashion Jewelry from Imus, Cavite. She has been participating in seminars and product clinics organized by the DTI.

“Although my husband supports me in some ways, I work alone in making the products, and I tend the booth alone as well. It’s tedious sometimes, but it’s enjoyable and fulfilling,” she said.

“I am very passionate in satisfying my customers. In most cases, I give in to additional requests like adding more beads of retail buyers, for example. It’s time-consuming, and it interrupts selling. However, I don’t charge for the extra materials, effort, and time. That’s how I value my clients,” Ms. Asis added.