BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III
The Negros Trade Fair will now be able to reach more people through the launching of its e-commerce platform, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat said Saturday.
In a video recorded message at the opening of the 35th NTF, Puyat said this is one of her favorite yearly events because she always looks forward to checking the latest in local craftsmanship for accessories, organic products, and the Negrense cuisine.
The country’s longest running provincial-based trade fair has always been held in Metro Manila but for the first time, it was also launched on the digital platform, she said.
Small and medium enterprises from Negros will now have access to a wide customer base and even have an opportunity to connect with the international market, Puyat added.
The online marketplace will be a continuing feature of the NTF that started May 29 until June 30.
Aside from the online platform, the trade fair is held at the Association of Negros Producers Hub at the Capitol Road.
ALSO A SHOWROOM
Puyat said the hub will be an onsite location of the trade fair and will serve as a showroom for the island’s quality products.
She said the hub will also become a center of entrepreneurship in the province, adding that the DOT is proud to partner with ANP as they work together to promote tourism, and support SMEs and farmers.
Puyat said people could log in to shopnegrostrsdefair.com to check on the products being featured at the fair.
This year, about 35 SMEs in the province are participating in the fair, ANP president Arlene Infante said, adding that they hope to surpass their profit during the 34th trade fair back in 2019.
Infante said the association faced a crisis recently due to the pandemic and they had to close their showroom at Robinsons Place mall and postponed the trade fair.
She said this is the scenario that made them pursue their dream of having their own building and showroom where they do not need to be bothered with rent.
Infante also said that all their energy and resources will now be spent on advancing their core entrepreneurial advocacies.
Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said the trade fair provided a source of income to Negrense farmers and SMEs.
FACING GLOBAL CRISIS
“Now that we are in a global crisis, we should once again face it with the same Negrense spirit of resiliency, ingenuity, and hope that we courageously displayed when he had our first trade fair,” Lacson said.
He said that Negros Occidental is fortunate to have a non-government organization like ANP because their ingenuity opened opportunities for SMEs to local and international platforms. Lacson said that even in the midst of the pandemic, Negrenses can show the world that Negros is not just about sugar, but a place where you can succeed if you tried, and it is where a healthy economy can advance with what we make or innovate.*