Friday, May 31, 2013
WITH the unstable situation of traditional markets abroad, the domestic market is proving to be lucrative for the construction and furniture export sectors, officials said.
“Because the global economic slowdown has dragged our exporters recently, the domestic market has become the silver lining for industry players,” said Philippine Constructors Association Inc. (PCAI) executive director Manolito Madrasto on Wednesday at the launch of PhilConstruct Visayas 2013.
The construction trade show will take place on June 6 to 8 in the Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Lahug, Cebu City.
The Visayas leg opens the nationwide series to be followed by Davao in September and Manila in November.
Madrasto highlighted the importance of industry exhibitions such as PhilConstruct as strategic venues to show the domestic audience the quality and global-competitiveness of locally-manufactured products. These also display the latest innovations, technologies and services brought by world-class brands.
He said trade shows will increase the chances of local companies to attract a domestic following.
PhilConstruct overall chairman Morris Agoncillo of PCAI identified Cebu as a significant force next to Manila, which powers the domestic market.
“The domestic market is booming and this is something we want to highlight,” said PhilConstruct Visayas 2013 chairman Bernard Vonn Sia.
PhilConstruct Visayas 2013 will also include Tubod, the country’s first domestic furniture trade show organized by the Cebu Furniture Industries Foundation Inc. (CFIF).
With the entry of Tubod in this year’s PhilConstruct Visayas, CFIF president Angela Paulin acknowledged the event as a gateway to the domestic market.
She said the benefits of the vibrant local construction scene will trickle down to the industry’s affiliate sector, furniture and furnishings.
Paulin said that Tubod, which emphasizes the creativity and ingenuity of local talents, is a way of encouraging players to get out of export concentration.
“The market has already shifted. We’ll strike while the iron is hot,” she said.
“In furniture and furnishings alone, the demand is valued at US$647 million. We have to start looking in and cultivate opportunities in the domestic market,” Sia said.
Department of Trade and Industry Cebu Provincial Office Director Nelia Navarro agreed that there is a growing domestic demand for the local construction and furniture sectors, especially in Cebu.
Navarro credited the industry’s confidence to the emerging retail and BPO sectors, the remittances of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and the increasing influx of tourists to the country.
According to PCAI’s 2012 country report, the local construction sector surged by 18.4 percent during the last quarter of last year, from 8.1 percent registered in the previous year.
“This performance produced a total contribution of P345 billion to the economy in 2012 from P302 billion in 2011 and an increased gross domestic product share of 5.5 percent, from 5.1 percent in 2011,” the report read.