Jakarta (Antara News) - In support of local handcraft ateliers under the Design for Exports Program, the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) has recently enjoined 15 local manufacturers in a product development program.

The program focuses on new generation weaves, basketwork, and related wares.

These product collections will be presented during the Manila FAME: The Design and Lifestyle Event on October from 20 to 22 at the World Trade Center, Pasay City, the Philippines embassy said in a statement, here Saturday.

"The appeal of Philippines crafts lies in our raw materials and the unparalleled skill of our artisans. Through the DTI-CITEM efforts, we can further enhance this advantage and capitalize on it to help maintain - or even raise our position in the global handicrafts export industry," CITEM Executive Director Rosvi C. Gaetos said.

In recent years, when the global demand for basketwork has been steadily increasing, and eco-friendly designs are also gaining popularity among international buyers as these are considered sustainable, the Philippines remains the 4th largest exporter of basketwork and other related wares in the world.

CITEM will provide the 15 companies full design and product development assistance to maximize their business opportunities in the global houseware industry through material and product development, market intelligence, and buyer matching. CITEM envisions the local manufacturers will enter niche markets as the current target market in weaves and related crafts is already dense.

"We just cannot continue making only products. We need to create products full of soul, and that are unique, meaningful, and useful," ED Gaetos was quoted as saying in the statement.

The 15 handcraft ateliers currently undergoing product development using locally-sourced natural materials are from craft communities of Bicol, Pampanga, Cavite, Negros, Davao, Cebu, and Metro Manila. Companies that are making use of Philippine fibers (Abaca, Banana, Buntal, Cotton, Pineapple, Raffia), leaves (i.e. Pandan and Water Hyacinth), reeds, vines, bamboo, rattan, and wicker are Calfurn, Catalina Embroideries, Inc., Larone Crafts, Inc., Hacienda Crafts Company, Inc., Maria Vinecraft, Inc., Obra Cebuana, Inc., Shelmed Cottage Treasures, That One Piece Enterprise, and Tagum Agricultural Development Corporation (TADECO).

The companies that make use of wood and metal are Basket and Weaves Handicrafts Mftg., Chanalli and Native Crafts and Arts Industries Inc., and Masa Ecological Development, Inc. (MASAECO) makes use of paper, pi�a fiber, and mulberry bark, while Asia Ceramics Corporation and Kilus Foundation are making products made of ceramics and synthetic materials.

As part of the program, CITEM organized a presentation on the market and product directions consistent with global design and trends in basketry to a group of Manila FAME exhibitors, designers, and students. Attendees were introduced to the lifestyle and color forecast for 2017 and beyond, that largely embarks on elements of, light, natural, earthly colors and turquoise accents.
(T.F001/B/KR-BSR/F001) 01-10-2016 12:45:55

Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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