Friday, December 01, 2006

PNG arts and craft go online

Papua New Guinea is participating in an international online exposition in Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) to promote its arts and crafts.

The "APEC Local Culture Virtual Exposition (ALCIVE)" opened in August 2006 and closes in July 2007.

It features all 21 APEC member economies with potential visitors to theexposition being consumers from throughout the world.

The invitation to PNG to participate was through the Small Business Development Corporation, as part of the recent small and medium Enterprises (SME) working group meeting in Chinese Taipei.

The SBDC spearheaded PNG's participation at the online exposition, with the country having its own "Exhibition Hall" at this exposition via the Internet.

The website address is , from where one can enter PNG's "Exhibition Hall".

Since the launching, more than 75,000 visitors from throughout the world have visited the site.

The SBDC has been supported by network partners such as the Tourism Promotion Authority, the National Museum & Art Gallery, the National Cultural Commission, Tourism Industry Association, and Tour Operators' Association.

Local cultural industries exist in most APEC member economies, and are also industries that are deemed mostly needy of relevant government assistance.

Though the products of the local cultural industries, which are often embedded with rich local culture and art, have been an attractive element to foreign buyers, but, considering that most producers in the local cultural industries are micro-enterprises, most have encountered difficulties in selling their products successfully in the overseas market.

In 2006, APEC Chinese Taipei thus initiated a project, which includes the APEC Local Cultural Industry Market Development Forum and the APEC Local Cultural Industry Virtual Exposition.

The objectives of the initiative are as follows:

* Enhancing the capacity of SMEs and micro-enterprises in the local cultural industries in order that their markets can be expanded;
* Building a platform for local cultural industries in demonstration of their products to all APEC economies in order that business opportunities in the international markets can be increased; and
* Strengthening cross-border cooperation in the APEC region in promotion of the development of overseas markets for the local cultural industry and in seeking the best practices of market development.

"This is a very good opportunity and potential for PNG, particularly its artsand crafts, to be promoted globally and secure overseas markets," says SBDCManaging Director Mr Brian Komun.

He added that the exposition would also be an ideal place for the country to promote itself as a tourism destination to the world.

APEC's Director General of SME enterprise administration, Mr Sun-Quae Lai,noted PNG's unique arts and crafts which would be showcasedto the world at the exposition.

"As we know," he says, "the products in local cultural industries are an expressionof local culture and art, which are attractive to foreign buyers and therefore have high potential to export.

"Nevertheless, most producers in local cultural industries are micro-enterprisesand have difficulties to sell their products overseas.

"The purpose of the exposition is thus to create a platform for displaying theproducts of APEC member economies' local cultural industries, thereby helpingthese industries to develop new business opportunities in overseas markets.

"We know that Papua New Guinea has a myriad of excellent local cultural goodsthat can be showcased to the world.

"Participating APEC member economies each have their own online"Exhibition Hall" at the online exposition.

Participating member economies are able to use photographs, pictures, text, animation, video footage and others to showcase their economy's local cultural products within their "Exhibition Hall".

The exposition will provide transaction opportunities for all participating products.

Each product showcased in the exposition displays contact details, so that consumers can purchase the product.

However, the exposition will not provide a direct on-line purchasing service.

Consumers wishing to purchase a product will need to contact the exhibitionthemselves using the contact details provided on the exposition website.

During the exposition, the exposition organizers will place advertisementson leading portal sites and other major international websites, and will organise promotional activities to ensure that as many people as possible visit the exposition.

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