GMA’s advice to Kapampangan furniture makers: Look at local market too
Former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has urged her cabalens working in the furniture industry to set their sights on the local market to cushion them from the volatility in the international arena.
In her keynote speech during the Induction and Turnover of Training Output of the Pampanga Furniture Industries Foundation at the Royce Hotel in Clark, Pampanga on July 5, Arroyo noted the growing concern over the decreasing number of buyers of Philippine furniture from the international market.
She said local furniture makers can address this problem by focusing on the needs of Filipino clients, particularly the middle class.
“There is a growing concern that the number of buyers visiting the Philippines has been decreasing in the past few years. During (a) furniture fair opening program at SMX, (Pampanga) Governor (Lilia) Pineda was telling me that to supplement the traditional high end furniture market, she hopes our industry can also develop the middle class local market,” Arroyo said.
The lawmaker said that during her term as President, a Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)-funded study showed the need for furniture producers to look at the local market.
“Those suggestions certainly conform to another target of your marketing development factor: simplify marketing strategy to align furniture design to customer needs in local and global markets,” she said.
Arroyo urged industry leaders to come up with project proposals that center on the middle class market which she said the provincial government can provide training for.
“Your fellow furniture maker Board Member Tonton Torres can hopefully make a project proposal with a strong training component and a small marketing component for the domestic middle class market,” she said.
Pampanga, Metro Manila and Cebu are the country’s top furniture producers. Because of the quality furniture they produce, the country is called the Milan of Asia.
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