Go Lokal opens 1st shop in Mindanao

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THE 103rd Go Lokal store was opened last Friday at the Abreeza Ayala Mall in Davao City, the first in Mindanao, featuring products from the different southern regions. “They (products) reflect the ingenuity, the talent and the skills of the places in Mindanao… very authentic, passionately made,” said Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Assistant Secretary Rosario Victoria C. Gaetos during the launch. Ms. Gaetos also called on more micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to take advantage of the venue to market their products without added cost. “What they just have to do is to ensure that they have very good products,” she said, noting that the DTI has a program to assist MSMEs further improve their goods. DTI is also opening Go Lokal outlets abroad, including a 200-square meter outlet at a soon-to-open theme park in Guangzhou, China. “We all know how the Chinese tourism market has grown exponentially; we are going to target that with our Go Lokal store,” she said. Rosevic Lucilla R. Cembrano, president of the Mindanao Trade Expo Foundation Inc., said the establishment of the store helps provide local producers “with market access” to their target buyers. Ms. Cembrano said her group is committed to help develop “more empowered and smarter entrepreneurs” so they can access the global market. Ruby B. Ochoa, Abreeza Ayala Mall marketing manager, told BusinessWorld the partnership with DTI is the mall’s commitment to helping “showcase the Mindanao products… and local retailers.” — Carmelito Q. Francisco