Philippine small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can now promote locally-made products, services and investments in the United States market through a platform and exchange hub designed also for Los Angeles (LA)-based firms.
Gina Jamoralin, Assistant Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Office of International Economic Relations, said founders of EmPHorium want to create a business center and hub where buyers and sources can converge to test the market, learn about exporting and sourcing between the Philippines and the US, and create a network for Filipino and Filipino-American SMEs.
“As approved by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), EmPHorium will be established at the PTIC (Philippine Trade and Investment Center)-LA where interested buyers would then have access to a ‘one-stop shop’ where they can touch and feel the products, contact sourcers, and engage with the DTI in establishing business,” she said in a letter to Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT) President Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr.
Launched virtually through www.emPHorium.com, the platform provides information, catalogs and other resources for export and trade promotion.
It will particularly promote trending, unique, high quality products; and promote hybrid pop-up/online selling events livestream to the Philippines and US markets.
The platform would be also an educational, media, business and networking center for creating awareness and advancing the movement of US market expansion for Philippine-made products, services and investments.
Jamoralin said the LA Philippine Consulate General (PCG) and EmPHoriu have agreed to hold soft-launch and networking events focused on specific industries, including film and creatives, food and beverage, and textiles and handicrafts.
“The DFA notes that said collaboration with EmPHorium and PTIC-LA can serve as a “Filipino exports accelerator” hub. If successful, it can be replicated elsewhere, and provide a platform for smaller businesses to penetrate the US market,” she said.
Meanwhile, Jamoralin said the LA PCG will seek to arrange a meeting with the Port of LA to tackle the constraints in the importation of Philippine products.
This, as founders cited concerns for EmPHorium, specifically export licenses, and logistics and shipment of Philippine products given supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic.
“To address this, the founders proposed a co-op system to ship products by pallets, and allow small businesses to send smaller batches of product together on a weekly basis that could spread the cost of cargo,” she added.