Philippine design goes global: Manila FAME opens up to broader possibilities via website

Published March 11, 2021, 6:22 PM

by Jonnah Lynne Pante

FAME+ is part of CITEM’s commitment to equip MSMEs with the right tools and capacities to adapt to the new and increasingly digital demands of trade and export.

Through FAME+ (, the trade website launched late last year by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), over 200 homegrown brands hailing from the home, fashion, and lifestyle (HFL) sector get to expand their reach to buyers and design enthusiasts all over the world.

Lining the ultimate space for Philippine design are digital storefronts showcasing premium, artisanal pieces that will fit perfectly in any corner of modern spaces. Complementing the comprehensive online catalogues of 3,012 unique products including homeware, furniture, furnishing, lamps and lighting, apparel, accessories, holiday décor, and art is the online platform’s own trade publication, Touchpoint, which, in partnership with publishing giant Summit Media, narrates the diverse stories behind Philippine design excellence.

FAME+ was officially launched in October 2020 as part of CITEM’s commitment to equip micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) with the right tools and capacities to adapt to the new and increasingly digital demands of trade and export. In conjunction with FAME+, as part of CITEM’s fervent digitization efforts, the agency also has in place a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) system to efficiently manage CITEM’s digital assets and promotions, particularly social media and email. Optimized processes for campaigns implemented through these channels will improve user experience, and will also enable CITEM to focus on nurturing relationships with the agency’s existing and prospective stakeholders.

While the current health crisis still limits large gatherings like trade shows, FAME+ serves as a convenient hub for local arts and crafts which viewers from Europe, Australia, the US, Japan, and China, can access 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.

An enhanced online presence is not the sole benefit of getting onboard FAME+ for exhibitors and manufacturers. The website also offers year-round promotion of products in complimentary digital content production and curation for 100 exhibitors, business matching with prospective buyers, one-on-one consultations with product development specialists, and access to forecasts and industry insights to keep stakeholders updated on the latest trends.

Prior to the launch of FAME+, CITEM has already experienced firsthand the advantages of the digital facilitation of trade. In the export-promotion agency’s participation in the 2020 edition of Maison &Objet and More (MOM), Philippine brands saw improved discoverability. For instance, through its participation in the digital trade fair, the country was discovered by buyers and press from Brazil, an audience segment that does not normally participate in physical trade fairs staged in the Philippines.

While still in its maiden version, FAME+ heralds a better normal for the Philippine design scene through the boundless possibilities that CITEM has embraced through technology.

True enough, the opportunities for FAME+ brands keep on coming. This month, 10 FAME+ brands are joining the ASEAN International Furniture & Furnishings Show, the first virtual trade event for the ASEAN furniture circuit happening from March 9 to 18, 2021.

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