PHILIPPINE FASHION retail brands are being pushed by the Trade department to gain a foothold in the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) market, following the lead of children’s brand Periwinkle, which recently entered the Indonesian market.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said in a statement on Friday that through its commercial offices abroad, it has been urging local fashion retail brands to gain a regional foothold.

“We intend to assist local companies with established brands to expand in the international market by partnering with foreign companies particularly in ASEAN countries, and promote the Philippines as a reliable and competitive source of global fashion retail brands,” DTI Undersecretary Ponciano C. Manalo, Jr. said in the statement.

He added that the DTI provides support through business counseling, business matching and brand promotion via strategic alliances.

Citing a report from its commercial office in Jakarta, DTI said that Periwinkle, a high-end maker of children’s goods, opened its first local branch at the Grand Indonesia East Mall.

DTI said Periwinkle is also set to open another counter at British department store chain Debenhams at the Senayan City Mall, also in Jakarta.

In Indonesia, Periwinkle is managed by the Boga Group, a food and beverage and retail group with 100 restaurants and stores in Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, Yogyakarta, Medan, Makassar and Bali.

“Periwinkle’s presence in Indonesia is an excellent opportunity for the retail brand to aim for wider regional expansion in light of the AEC (ASEAN Economic Community) 2015. We are optimistic that Periwinkle’s high-quality design will be patronized by Indonesian society, particularly sophisticated mothers who love dressing up their children,” Alma Argayoso, commercial counsellor of the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) in Jakarta, said in the statement.

DTI said that the PTIC has been helping Periwinkle to understand the legalities of franchising in Indonesia should it opt to offer franchising. The current set-up only covers imports and licensing by Boga.

“It is a milestone for Periwinkle to be present in Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest economy, and being able to share our brand globally,” Periwinkle Owner Allan T. Hao Chin said in the statement.

Apart from Indonesia, Periwinkle products are also available in Canada, the US, and Singapore.