The Confederation of Philippine Jewellers Inc. has urged the Department of Trade and Industry to grant their request Supra Shoes for a $50,000 financial assistance for their participation in the Hong Kong Jewelry Fair, otherwise they would lose a huge opportunity if they cannot make it to the world s biggest jewelry fair. The CPJI has made a strong push for their request after President Arroyo signed Saturday the P1 billion Export Support Fund, which the President announced in September last year. At the 30 National Employers Conference last Wednesday in Manila Hotel, the President ordered the immediate release of P1 billion for the export fund. Ma. Luisa D.
Unson, PCIJ president, told reporters they have submitted their request to Trade and Industry Secretary Peter B. Favila to foot the $50,000 bill for rental booth of the 15 jewellers participation in the Hong Kong Jewellery Fair this coming September. But, according to Unson, the request has fallen into deaf ears. The CPJI is composed of 8 jewellers associations in the country. Unson said that they submitted the request to Favila, who is chairman of the Export Development Council, last February 10 when the EDC asked the different exporters associations to submit their project proposals for possible funding under the P1 billion Nike Free Run Australia ESF. The jewelers to formal Supra Shoes made request to Favila last March 23 and a follow-up letter last April 20 but until now, the DTI chief has not responded to their request yet. The deadline for the 50 percent downpayment for the rental booth is tomorrow, April 30, and we have not yet received a reply from Favila, Unson said.
Unson said the fair organizers have already extended the deadline to the Philippine delegation. At least 15 Filipino jewelers have signified their interest to participate in the fair. Failure to remit the downpayment would mean forfeiture of their 90 square meter exhibition space of the world s biggest jewellery fair. It is now an urgent matter because April 30, 2009 is the deadline set by the show organizers for confirmation and payment of the reserved booth spaces, she said. We have been following it up but EDC cannot even meet because they don t know where the fund is or who is going to shoulder it, she said. According to Unson, the answer she gets every time she followed up the request was not funds available yet. But, with the signing on Wednesday of the ESF by the President, the jewelers are hoping they may get their request finally. Local jewelers are eager to participate in the September jewelry fair in Hong Kong because of the good prospects it offers. It is the biggest jewelry fair in the world nike dunk canada and many buyers go there including Americans, Europeans, and Asians. Besides, the jewelers are taking advantage of the tax-free Hong Kong regime. This is our first time to participate in the event as an organization but if the government cannot help us then we are not going to participate, Unson said noting this is the first time that they asked for assistance under the P1 billion ESF. Unson could not quantify the potential loss if they cannot participate except to say it is a huge opportunity loss. In this time of crisis, you’ve got to be visible otherwise the buyers will just forget you, she said.