Holiday décor exporters remain optimistic about delivering growth next year despite weak demand in crisis-hit major United States and European markets.

“Holiday decor exports of the Philippines are just a decimal point of global imports. So there is no way but to go up, I think. The market is really huge,” said Romeo Balderrama Jr., president of Christmas Décor Producers and Exporters Association of the Philippines (CDPEAP).

Balderrama said industry players intend to penetrate more markets overseas, particularly new emerging ones like Russia and Brazil.

He said they will also conduct next month together with the Foreign Buyers Association of the Philippines (FOBAP) and Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) roadmapping exercises to develop an industry roadmap that outlines other strategies for business growth.

Balderrama bared that while other sectors were happy about the sales result of the recent Manila FAME trade show, the holiday décor sector generated lower revenues.

“Big buyers from the US arrived just to get samples. They will still exhibit the products in February (2013). Once they learn the feedback of their markets, that’s the only time when they place orders,” he said.

Balderrama said US buyers only purchase low-priced but high volume items.

“If there are high-end (products) bought by the US which are our specialty, the volume is not that high. Europe also buys in volume but smaller items. But since Europe now is experiencing difficulty, that is still a big question,” he said.

Balderrama also blamed for the diminishing market the so-called baby boomers who no longer buy holiday decors.

“The baby boomers (generation) have retired, they are not buying anymore new products. And the younger generation does not buy something for Christmas,” he said.

Resposted— Danielle Venz, PHILEXPORT News and Features

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