GOING VIRTUAL. The actual Bahandi trade fair at Robinsons North Tacloban in this November 2019 photo. At least 100 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Eastern Visayas will join the annual trade fair, which will go virtual for the first time, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) announced Thursday (Nov. 12, 2020). (Photo courtesy of DTI)
TACLOBAN CITY – At least 100 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Eastern Visayas will join the annual “Bahandi” trade fair, which will go virtual for the first time, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) announced on Thursday.
In an interview, DTI 8 regional director Celerina Bato said the online trade fair on Nov. 16 to 20 is expected to link local producers with buyers through digital means.
Among the exhibitors are producers of food, wearables, and homestyle decors.
The trade department is eyeing only PHP1 million sales from the online trade fair since most of the institutional buyers are not used to virtual trade fairs, she said.
“It’s different when it’s a physical trade fair wherein the buyers get to check and touch the products they are interested to buy. For this virtual regional trade fair, we will solely depend on the product photos that will be uploaded on the virtual platforms as well as the virtual negotiation between seller-exhibitor and buyer. Big challenge for the conduct of this virtual trade fair is good and strong internet connectivity,” she added.
The online platforms to be used are Zoom, Facebook, and PLDT KaAsenso.
Bato said participation is free but exhibitors must have good and strong internet connectivity.
Of the 100 participating MSMEs, 28 are from Leyte province, 25 from Samar, 10 from Biliran, 10 from Northern Samar, 17 from Southern Leyte, and 10 from Eastern Samar.
“The pandemic could not stop our local MSMEs. Their products continue to develop, and now, DTI Region 8 is showcasing these gems through a virtual trade fair. It’s a new and better way of doing business, reaching out to more buyers across the country and the rest of the world through digitalization,” Bato added.
Bahandi, the local term for wealth, is a regular trade fair organized by the DTI in malls based in the National Capital Region and Tacloban City. (PNA)