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RP eyes P200-M funding for German trade fair
by Cesar Barrioquinto
The Manila Times Business, August 16, 1997

The government and the private sector hope to raise P200 million to sell the Philippines as a newly industrializing country at the Hannover Trade Fair in Germany,  the world's biggest,  next year,  officials told a press conference yesterday.

"We would like to show Europe and the world what we have got,"  Trade Secretary Cesar Bautista said.  "[We] will show guests and participants a more forward-looking Philippines,  a country that is ready for international trade and investment partnership."

Financing the project is critical since the Philippines will be the focus of the fair,  which is reputed as an ideal place for companies aiming at the international market.  The fair showcases 7,000 companies and is attended by 400,000 visitors each year.  Next year's edition will be held on April 20 to 25.

Roberto Romulo,  chairman of the Asia-Europe Foundation,  said his group has raised P16.8 million so far,  but P200 million was needed to present the Philippines effectively in Hannover.  The government Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (Citem) is helping the foundation organize the Philippine participation in the fair.

The Philippines is the 19th country and the fifth Asian nation--after India in 1984,  Turkey in 1985,  China in 1987,  and Indonesia in 1985--to be featured as "partner country" in the 50-year-old fair.  The United States and the United Kingdom were the partner countries last year and this year,  respectively

Araceli Maria Pinto-Mansor,  Citem's executive director,  said the Philippines would be presented as a growth area in the Asia Pacific through exhibits,  business forums,  and special events.  Local  industries would be showcased in clusters to attract investors and joint-venture partners.


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