PH Embassy in Abu Dhabi Expo Forum Highlights Investment
Opportunities for PH Indigenous Textile Industry

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ABU DHABI 08 April 2022 — Philippine Ambassador to United Arab Emirates (UAE) Hjayceelyn M. Quintana cited the important role of the Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI), an agency under the umbrella of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), in bringing technology to weaving communities in the Philippines to strengthen and revitalize the indigenous textile industry. Amb. Quintana made the remark at a forum organized by the Philippine Embassy in UAE held at the Terra Auditorium at the World Expo Dubai on 29 March 2022.

The Forum featured Director Celia Elumba of PTRI, entrepreneur Mr. Claparols of Creative Definitions, and a panel consisting of experts in fashion, branding and sustainable development.

Bringing technology to local weaving communities is the work being done by PTRI Dir. Elumba, who spoke on the various ways PTRI-DOST is bringing technology to the people in a way that helps their livelihood while innovating in developing indigenous textiles. She spoke on how PTRI’s Textiles- Empowering Lives Anew (TELA) flagship programme is continuing to gain ground, with the Regional Yarn Production and Innovation Centers (RYPIC) around the Philippines, which aim to produce crafted yarns from blends of natural textile fibers from abaca, banana and pineapple leaf, among others.

Among the entrepreneurs who have partnered with PTRI is Mr. Michael Claparols, whose company Creative Definitions is producing hip and stylish footwear from the local weaving communities empowered by PTRI’s TELA program with the RYPICs. Mr. Claparols highlighted his company’s desire to conduct business in a way that protects the environment, respects the culture, and protects the welfare of the workers.

A panel discussion followed the forum moderated by Ms. Marlene Murphy, President of Philippine Partnerships Circle (PhilPAC), a not-for-profit organization aimed at building PH-UAE business linkages and cultural understanding. Long-time Filipino resident in Dubai Bong Guerrero who is a co- founder of Fashion Forward Dubai, highlighted the potential that such sustainably produced indigenous fibers produced in the Philippines could have on the fashion industry, and expressed hope that this would gain more attention particularly since Filipino designers made a mark in the UAE’s fashion scene. Ms. Chairul C. Jaitly, Founder and Managing Director of Matiti Group congratulated Dir. Elumba and Mr. Claparols for focusing on the protection of the environment and the empowerment of communities. Ms. Georgina Kelly, Managing Partner, Creative Intelligence and Strategic Brand Consultancy noted that the projects presented make for a compelling business model that presents a sustainable alternative and would be attractive to various demographics including the youth and environmentally-aware sectors.

Amb. Quintana expressed hope that the forum, with the World Expo Dubai as a platform, brings to the world stage how the Philippines and its people are creating a future firmly rooted in the awareness that sustainable use of natural resources, with the help of technology, is the way for people and communities to thrive. END

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