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ASEAN program champions women entrepreneurs to participate in Manila FAME on April 21-23

MANILA, Philippines – The Gender Responsive Economic Actions for the Transformation of Women (GREAT Women) returns to the April edition of Manila FAME to tap the booming global contract market for the home, fashion, and lifestyle products at the World Trade Center Metro Manila.
GREAT Women is an ASEAN initiative that provides opportunity to improve sustainability, productivity, and competitiveness to local craftsmen and women entrepreneurs.
In partnership with the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the GREAT Women Project 2 will demonstrate the creativity and ingenuity of manufacturers and artisans from 35 women-led companies from the National Capital Region (NCR); and regions of Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Cordillera, CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, Bicol, Central Visayas, Northern Mindanao, CARAGA, SOCCSKSARGEN, Zamboanga Peninsula, and Davao.
“With the rising awareness for gender equality in the global market, CITEM partners with GREAT Women Project 2 to enable new product and material innovations while promoting gender-responsive work environments and generating more jobs for women all over the country,” said Clayton Tugonon, newly appointed CITEM Executive Director.
Launched in 2006, GREAT Women was pioneered by female entrepreneurs to help their fellow artisans penetrate regional and global markets while empowering women communities and sustaining culture and tradition. It was conceived through a public-private partnership with the Philippine government and the Canadian International Development Authority.
In 2015, it became an ASEAN Brand after it integrated 40 women entrepreneurs from different Southeast Asian countries, in partnership with the ASEAN SME Agencies Working Group (SMEWG), the U.S.-ASEAN Business Alliance for Competitive SMEs, and the ECHOsi Foundation.
As Manila FAME expands its market scope under its “Projects” theme, female entrepreneurs target to generate more opportunities for women in the booming contract market, including hospitality and residential developments; commercial establishments and malls; special edition products for institutions, theme parks, and concept stores; and tourism branded products.
In partnership with the Design Center of the Philippines (DCP), CITEM tapped local lifestyle designers PJ Arañador, Rachelle Dagñalan and Mon Pabillon to provide assistance in developing market-responsive and design-driven crafts for the global export market.
Under this creative direction, participants will produce Home and Lifestyle products, such as huge lamps and vases, sculptural pieces, tapestries, and other products for hotel and resorts scales. They will also develop furnishings for millennial condominiums and small spaces in the form of window blinds, sofa throws and floor rugs, modular furniture, wall art, decals, knock-down furniture and functional art.
New products will also include functional objects in concept stores and museums, as well character-inspired adornments in theme parks and souvenir products in tourist destinations.
Participating companies from Luzon are Aleli’s Buricraft, Highland Women’s Multipurpose Cooperative, Kabayan Weaving Arts and Crafts, Kenro Boutique, Leila’s Loomweaving, Mayat-An Handicrafts, Namarabar Ethnic Crafts & Antiques, Banaue Loomweaving, Kinwa Etnika Handicrafts, Lab Tie Dye Weavers Association, Malamin Buricraft, Mikah’s Souvenir, Montañosa Weavers Association, San Jose Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Gantsilyo, Namnama Batal Women Association (NABWA) – Santiago City , Santos Women Weaver’s Association, Nagbalacan Loomweavers Multipurpose Cooperative, Sta Praxedes, Threads and Trend Crochet Prod ucts, Julie Anne’s Handicraft, LHSM Handicrafts, Laguna Water Hyacinth Handicrafts Producers Association, Labo Progressive Multipurpose Cooperative, Lumban Marketing Cooperative, Monte de Ramos Handicraft and Lynkies Native Products.
Hailing from Visayas is Tubigon Loomweavers Multipurpose Cooperative. Coming from Mindanao are Puyo Handicrafts, Lynkies Native Products, City of Cabadbaran Abaca Handicraft, Sibagat Federation of Women Association, K’Datu, Yakan Weavers MPC, Tribal handicrafts Makers Association and Muslim Christian Women’s Association. (DTI-CITEM)
Manila FAME is a bi-annual showcase of craftsmanship in Philippine products. It features finely selected furniture and home furnishings, holiday gifts and accessories, designed and crafted in the Philippines for the global market.
Organized by the Philippines’ Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), through the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), Manila FAME is the only trade event in the Philippines approved by the Union des Foires Internationals (UFI), or the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, a Paris-based association of trade fair organizers founded 90 years ago in Milan, Italy, on April 1925.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.