In time for this year’s holiday season, the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Sikat Pinoy National Trade Fair brings products from earthquake-rocked Central Visayas and supertyphoon Yolanda-hit Eastern and Western Visayas to Metro Manila.

In his keynote message during the opening of the fair, DTI Undersecretary Ponciano C. Manalo noted that there are 40 exhibitors from these regions out of the 250 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) participating in the fair.

The Sikat Pinoy National Trade Fair is the 5th edition of DTI’s Sikat Pinoy fairs organized this year to feature products of MSMEs from the various regions of the country. While this edition of the fair showcases a wider range of products, the previous editions focused mainly on food, fashion, arts, or furniture and furnishings.

With the theme “Piling-piling produktong Pilipino”, the fair will run from December 3 to 7, 2014 at Halls 1 to 3, SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City. The fair will showcase products such as various delicacies from the regions, health and wellness products, fashion, jewelry, furniture, home décor, knick-knacks, collectibles, and novelty gift items.

“In the experience of many start-up entrepreneurs, being invited to a Sikat pinoy fair is the boost that they need to bring their products in the national and eventually global market,” Manalo said. Manalo added that the Sikat Pinoy national domestic trade fairs are an important venue for bringing products of SMEs from all regions to the country’s biggest market, which is Metro Manila. He noted that the SMEs are the backbone of the economy. They provide jobs, growth and inclusive growth to everybody. Hence, DTI aims to highlight them in activities like the Sikat Pinoy Trade Fairs. According to 2012 statistics, there were 944,897 businesses enterprises operating in the country. Out of these, 99.58 percent are micro, small, and medium enterprises. In the same year, SMEs accounted for 65 percent of the additional jobs generated with almost 5 million, compared to 2.6 million by large enterprises. Manalo said the DTI needs to improve its support service to SMEs, and its Bureau of Domestic Trade Promotion is mandated to promote in the efficient marketing and distribution of products in the domestic market, as well as expand and strengthen linkages among enterprises through information exchange, market matching, and skills development. In closing, Manalo invited everyone to do their shopping in the fair to support the country’s SMEs and at the same time, help entrepreneurs in Regions 6, 7 and 8 recover from last year’s calamities. (end)