Cagayan de Oro City News Online —Leading food and agri-industrial products from Cagayan de Oro and northern Mindanao areas take center stage as the 5th Oro Best Expo opens here at SM Mall Atrium Wednesday with international dignitaries among the pack of expo visitors.
Officials and delegates from the Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines - East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) took a noontime break at the start of their 3-day high-level meet to grace the opening of this year’s Oro Best Expo.
Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Chair Luwalhati Antonino led BIMP-EAGA officials at the 5th Oro Best Expo opening and cited the potential revenues and investment opportunities that could be generated from the event.
Antonino said it is “both timely and strategic” that the expo is held in conjunction with the BIMP-EAGA 20th Senior Officials and 16th Ministerial Meeting, which had drew in over 200 delegates from within the four-country sub-regional grouping.
“To date, the BIMP-EAGA side events such as the trade fairs have become strategic venues to enhance trade links, promote small and medium enterprises products and services and assist local producers in the expansion of market reach,” added Antonino, who is also the Philippines Signing Minister for the BIMP-EAGA.
After the opening program, the BIMP-EAGA delegates were toured around the various Expo booths that featured the local products of Northern Mindanao that include Coco sugar, stoneware products, abaca cloth from Bukidnon, seaweed snacks, herb products, dried and processed fruits, purees and jams.
Apart from the booth exhibits, this year’s Oro Best Expo also slated a Dairy Forum that features information on market value of dairy products, training demonstration on milk processing, and product marketing. The forum is part of a livelihood program series lodged under the Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Oro Chamber) as a program known as the “Ice on Milk” project.
Antonio further stressed that with the current trends on food, lifestyle products, and services directed towards health-related consciousness, many micro and small enterprises are given the opportunity to re-align their marketing reach towards the mainstream.
She added that “with the increased trade and communication activities that go beyond borders, there is greater opportunity for SMEs to tap a wider range of investments and contribute to the dynamism of Mindanao’s local economy.”
She also cited the role of BIMP-EAGA in increasing investments with the adoption of agreements that facilitate easier movement of goods, people and services through transport links and harmonized rules, regulations and procedures in customs, immigration, quarantine and security or CIQS.
The Oro Best Expo is jointly organized by the Oro Chamber and Promote CDO Foundation. The Expo runs until October 22 (Saturday).