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Thomas Russell

Organizers expect busy Manila FAME furniture show this month

MANILA, Philippines - For years, the Philippines has touted its ability to design and produce distinctive goods that use a host of indigenous materials.

That message is expected to resound at the next Manila FAME furniture show, set for March 14-17 in the SMX Convention Center here. The event includes three separate furniture, accessory and gift shows - Manila Now, CebuNext and Bijoux Cebu, a jewelry, footwear and leather goods showcase.

Each segment aims to communicate the creative talents of the Philippines, and generate orders from buyers around the world, including the United States.

Furniture shipments from the Philippines to the U.S. were essentially flat during the first six months of 2012 at $38.9 million, according to figures from U.S. Customs, the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. International Trade Commission. That placed the Philippines at number 14 on the list of source countries shipping to the U.S.

But show officials are optimistic that this year's event will do well due to the momentum of exports of all products from the Philippines to other parts of the world. Business news resource Market Watch said these exports grew 7.7% during the past six months, a faster rate than the 4.1% growth pace during the first six months of 2012.

"Now that economists are tagging the Philippines as the brightest economic star in Asia, we also want the Philippines, through Manila FAME, to be the creative epicenter in the region as we gather emerging and established talents from various creative fields and put further focus on our branding of Design Philippines by putting various features in the event," said Rosvi C. Gaetos, executive director of the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions, the export marketing arm of the Department of Trade and Industry.

For more information on the show, visit www.manilafame.com or e-mail info@manilafame.com.

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