Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011
Gift & Homewares Australia (GHA) has announced plans for a buyers mission to the Philippines in October, following a meeting with one of Manila’s senior trade diplomats in Sydney.

GHA board members welcomed the Philippines Undersecretary for International Trade, Adrian S. Cristobal Jr. on Friday, discussing opportunities to strengthen trade relations between Australia and the Philippines.

Topping the list of discussion topics was the upcoming buyers mission, which will see a contingent of GHA retailers and wholesalers visit the Philippines to meet with local gift and homewares producers and suppliers and source new products for the Australian market.

GHA has extended an invitation to all its members interested in participating in the buyers mission in October.

Mr Cristobal Jr. said the timing of the mission was ideal, as the Philippines economy was enjoying a resurgence under the government of Benigno Aquino III.

“With this new leadership we are seeing a new wave of trust and hope in our economy and renewed interest in foreign investment from the USA, Japan and a number of newcomers,” said Mr Cristobal Jr.

“Trade relations between Australia and the Philippines have been growing stronger over the last 10 years, but there’s still much room to improve.”

Mr Cristobal Jr. said by attracting international buyers to the Philippines, such as the GHA contingent, and increasing buyer demand, the government also hoped to lure back from overseas the talented designers who helped earn the country the title of the ‘Milan of Asia’ in the 1980s.

“The Philippines design industry had its glorious moments in the 1980s and 90s, but there was also a decline. In a way we were a victim of our own success, with many of our young designers moving on to make their mark in places like Milan and New York,” he said.

GHA’s CEO, David Leek said he had already seen signs of a revival in the Philippines gift and homewares industry during a visit to the Manila F.A.M.E. (Furnishings and Apparel Manufacturers' Exchange) International trade fair in April.

That visit and the success of the recent GHA-led trip to the Lifestyle Vietnam Fair in April were key factors behind the decision to launch the new buyers mission.

“We dipped our toe in the water in Vietnam and that has emboldened us to lead this new mission to the Philippines,” said Mr Leek.

“The range of innovative products and designs on display at the Manila F.A.M.E. exhibition was quite extraordinary and we hope the buyers mission will give our members the opportunity to forge lasting business relationships and gather new products, inspiration and ideas for their own businesses.”

Mr Cristobal Jr. was as part of a delegation from the Philippines Department of Trade & Industry in Australia last week for trade talks with their Australian counterparts in Canberra.

He provided some insight on the progress of the trade talks to GHA board members at Friday’s meeting at The Westin Sydney, before fielding questions from members on issues ranging from quarantine to quality control.

Contact Profile

Gift & Homewares Australia (GHA)

Gift & Homewares Australia (GHA) is the leading industry body representing the gift and homewares industry in Australia with origins dating back to 1977. Based in Homebush, Sydney, the ‘not-for-profit’ organisation is dedicated to serving its membership base through the provision of discounted industry services, commercial and political lobbying and two annual Home & Giving exhibitions held in Sydney and Melbourne.

Further information: Contact GHA on 1300 441 384 or email [email protected]
Paul Fahy
P: 02 9368 7277


Gift, Homewares, GHA, Philippines, Retail, Wholesale, Trade, Export, Small Business



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