DTI-CITEM’s Creative Futures 2022 to present what’s next for the Philippine creative economy

CREATEPhilippines once again gathers local and international creatives to discuss the future of the Philippine creative economy via the digital conference Creative Futures 2022. On its second run, the conference, to be staged using digital platform Hopin from July 28 to 29, 2022, includes an expo, knowledge sharing sessions, and business development and networking opportunities among creative professionals, policymakers, business leaders, and potential clients.

CREATEPhilippines, run by DTI’s export promotions agency Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), is the country’s flagship trade promotions program that champions the Philippines’ creative industries as a high-potential export sector and driver of economic growth. 

In 2021, the program first staged Creative Futures and launched CREATEPhilippines.com, the country’s first government-led digital content and community platform for Filipino creatives. The site features a directory where local talents can upload their portfolios for a global audience. 

This year, Creative Futures will highlight the immediate future of local creative industries. “Our lineup of speakers, resource persons, and partners will present what tomorrow could look like for the Filipino creative. The event is all about possibilities, not in the distant future, but now, like in the next 5 minutes,” said Erwin Romulo, CREATEPhilippines creative director, and Creative Futures Program Director. 

creative futures 2
creative futures 3
creative futures 4
creative futures 5

The theme of this year’s Creative Futures is “Tomorrow” and will include discussions on current developments and industry trends as well as projections for the creative sectors.

The two-day conference will include presentations on Creative Governance, Gastronomy, Advertising, Design, Film, Tourism, Dance, Game Development, Fashion, and Communication Design. 

“Creative Futures 2022 is particularly designed to take advantage of the latest opportunities brought about by recent developments in the local creative landscape, particularly the Congress approval of the consolidated version of Senate Bill 2455 and House Bill 10107, or the Creative Industries Development Act. To support the country’s thrust toward a robust creative economy, we’re putting forward practices, strategies, and programs that creatives can immediately capitalize on and incorporate into their respective fields in order to become more globally competitive,” said CITEM Executive Director Pauline Suaco-Juan.

Creative governance at the forefront 

Creative Futures puts the spotlight on creative governance after the pandemic hastened the need to institutionalize protection in the creative sectors. 

“CITEM consistently advocates for institutional support which we believe is crucial to the growth of our local talents and the creative economy at large. Through efforts like Creative Futures, under our signature program CREATEPhilippines, we aim to foster an environment where creatives can thrive, taking us closer to our vision of the Philippines as the leading creative hub in the ASEAN region,” added Suaco-Juan.

Returning as a guest speaker is Hon. Christopher “Toff” De Venecia, principal author of the House version of the Creative Industries Act, who will discuss the immediate impact of the law in a presentation. 

Creative Industries Act proponents and policymakers are also expected to attend. DTI Secretary Alfredo Pascual and DTI-Trade Promotions Group Officer-in-Charge Glenn Peñaranda will discuss the role of the public sector in the advancement of the Philippine creative economy.

Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto and US-based design firm Alao Design will present a vision of how design can renew public spaces. Arch. Aya Maceda and designers Kristian Henson and Monica Ramos will discuss their design process, doing historical research, on-ground mapping, and immersion, and how they collaborated with the Pasig City LGU.

No creative left behind

A new documentary by Martika Ramirez Escobar will premiere at the event. A live Q & A with the director of Sundance-winning feature film Leonor Will Never Die will follow the screening. 

A new P-pop web series featuring Mon Abrea, Chairman and Chief Tax Advisor of Asian Consulting Group, is also set to premiere at Creative Futures 2022. Written and directed by Joel Ferrer, it stars Kat Galang and Jal Galang as local creatives dealing with life, love, and their taxes. In a related session, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) will tackle copyright and other intellectual property rights-related issues in a presentation.

The conference also has on-demand sessions streamed throughout the two days, including the Department of Tourism’s ASMR series featuring spots from across Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao and the 360-degree interactive video series Across the Archipelago along the Pan-Philippine Highway. There will also be replays of the different presentations and sessions following the event.

To learn more about Creative Future’s growing list of presentations, including advertising and communication design, visit our registration page.

Digital expo of Philippine creatives and FAME+ e-tailers

Another key event component is the expo, which will showcase creatives from the CREATEPhilippines directory. Participants can also discover and shop Filipino home, fashion, and lifestyle products by e-tailers from digital sourcing and storytelling platform FAME+.

Creative Futures 2022 is organized by DTI-CITEM in partnership with the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), an attached agency of the Department of Tourism. 

Register at: https://hopin.com/events/creative-futures-2022/registration and take part in shaping the Philippine creative economy. To learn more about CREATEPhilippines, visit https://createphilippines.com/. Follow us on our social media platforms to get updates on Creative Futures 2022 and know the latest trends and news about local creative sectors.


The Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) is the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) export promotions arm committed to nurturing the global competitiveness of Philippine micro, small, and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs), exporters, designers, and manufacturers. The agency aspires toward the highest standards of creativity and innovation, spanning industries including home, fashion, lifestyle, food, and creative sectors.

About CREATE Philippines

CREATEPhilippines is the country’s flagship trade promotions program that showcases the Philippines’ creative industries as a high-potential export sector and driver of economic growth.

It brings together the creative industries and champions local talent by organizing events that provide opportunities to learn, network, and seize opportunities in the Philippines and beyond.

As a content and community platform, it houses stories that promote Filipino creatives and offers a directory to help them expand their online presence and share their portfolio to a global audience.

CREATEPhilippines is led by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM).

Design studio photo created by DCStudio – www.freepik.com

CITEM kicks off first digital food expo

A year before the pandemic hit in 2019, the Philippine agri-food sector turned in a strong showing, accounting for an estimated P6.1T to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). The same year also saw the sector employ 42.7% of the national workforce. 

In the new normal that changed our lives and livelihoods forever, The Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM)  tries to recapture the same momentum for one of our country’s most lucrative export sectors.

This is made possible through the first-ever digital iteration of its banner sourcing event for Philippine food, the IFEX Digital Expo 2021, from September 23-25.

“One of the many things that the pandemic brought forth is the need to connect—now more than ever. COVID changed the way we at CITEM worked, especially with heightened activity online. With borderless communication at our disposal, we present through this expo how we can conduct the business of food in the new normal,” CITEM Executive Director Pauline Suaco-Juan shares.

Leveraging its access to advanced digital tools, CITEM stages the IFEX Digital Expo 2021 to provide an avenue for Philippine food brands and businesses to showcase homegrown food products and ingredients to a wider audience.

Themed “Salu-salo,” IFEX Digital Expo brings together business owners, restaurateurs, hoteliers, farmers, food manufacturers and distributors, retailers, culinary professionals and foodies. The event serves as a medium for strengthening the food community through storytelling, knowledge sharing, and creating dialogue. This year’s show features over 200 exhibitors from all over the country. There are also invited industry experts from global organizations and local government agencies who will share their knowledge and insights on trends, opportunities, and techniques related to food. Networking and business-to-business matching sessions will also be part of the online event’s features.

A Three-Day Digital Celebration of Philippine Food

One of the highlights of the IFEX Digital Expo is the launch of two online platforms foodphilippines.com and www.ifexconnect.com, developed by CITEM. FOODPhilippines.com will be the website of the banner brand for all of CITEM’s events and initiatives for the Philippine food sector. Meanwhile, IFEXConnect.com will serve as the agency’s new promotion and lead generation platform for the country’s food export industry. 

Expo delegates can look forward to a wide array of Philippine food product categories, including fine food and specialties, biscuits and confectionery, organic and natural food items and ingredients, and snacks and crispy savory food products.

In addition to the informative discussions, the expo is set to excite the palate through happy hour sessions such as coffee brewing. Take in the rich aromas and flavors of Philippine coffee on Day 1. Savor mouthwatering dishes as Chef Angelo Guison explores the flavorful gifts of coconut, from tree to plate, in Coco Pop on Day 2. Distinguish craft from draft with the Craft Beer Association of the Philippines and Philippine craft kings beer connoisseur Jazel Paraiso, as you sample a beer set and learn about beer-food pairing on Day 3.

Source From a Wide Array of Products at the Expo Section

The IFEX Digital Expo 2021 brings you an all-new digital sourcing experience through its Expo section on Hopin. Browse through a catalog of flavors harnessed from the Philippines’ distinct terroir and by Philippine food companies from all over the archipelago. In the three-day expo, you can also initiate business with food brands, export enablers, and business support organizations.

The IFEX Digital Expo 2021 is organized with the help of RAPID Growth, Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Export Marketing Bureau-Halal (EMB-Halal), Philippine Coconut Authority, and DTI Regional Offices.

To join IFEX Digital Expo, register for free at https://bit.ly/IFEXDigitalExpo.  

The rest of the three-day expo are as follows:

ifex day 1
ifex day 2
ifex day 2


The Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) is the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) export promotions arm committed to nurturing the global competitiveness of Philippine micro, small, and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs), exporters, designers, and manufacturers. The agency aspires toward the highest standards of creativity and innovation, and spanning industries including home, fashion, lifestyle, and food sectors.

About FOODPhilippines.com

FOODPhilippines.com is an interactive community platform with stories celebrating and promoting Philippine food. The platform is replete with narratives on food heritage, culinary personalities, and well-loved recipes as well as innovative takes on Pinoy food. 


About IFEXConnect.com

IFEXConnect.com is a promotions and lead generation platform with business functionalities catered toward the needs of food exhibitors and buyers alike.The business-intensive portal is envisioned to be a sourcing platform that features digital storefronts of Philippine food exporters. Ready to serve the global market, IFEXConnect also has a business-matching facility to ensure access to and discoverability of well-loved Pinoy food products. 


About IFEX Digital Expo

CITEM organized the International Food Exhibition (IFEX) Philippines, a homegrown platform for the country’s food sector and the country’s biggest and most respected business-to-business (B2B) event for Asian food and ingredients. The export promotions agency is also in the thick of preparations for the digital iteration of IFEX Philippines, the IFEX Digital Expo. From expos, workshops, business-matching, and networking sessions, the IFEX Digital Expo will have food-intensive activities suited to the taste of anyone who’s in the business and culture of food.


Details and images provided by CITEM in a recent press release.

CITEM launches digital initiatives to boost PH Food industry

The Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) has announced the launch of its initiative to promote the local food industry.

In a recent digital promotions meeting attended by representatives from its partner exhibitors, buyers, government agencies, embassies and media, CITEM executive director Pauline Suaco-Juan shared that these digital-based endeavors are part of the CITEM’s drive to provide a unique and comprehensive trade show experience for all of its stakeholders.

“Even before the pandemic started affecting businesses and events the world over, CITEM has already begun working on its digitalization initiatives in an effort to go where our audience is headed,” says Suaco-Juan. “With digital marketing and e-commerce disrupting the trade industry, one must be able to adapt to the new online processes, systems and methods that are the future of this industry.”

CITEM’s digital initiatives aim to support micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) keep up with their global competitors and maximize their resources in the new business environment, through the power of digital and content marketing.

Food entrepreneurs among CITEM’s registered exhibitors, for example, can now easily connect with, and promote their products to more buyers around the world through their digital storefronts and online catalogs housed in the IFEX Connect website (ifexconnect.com).

CITEM Digital Initiatives

Their online visibility will also be supplemented by hybrid events (partly onsite and partly online) as well as fully digital trade events which are promoted through communications in various online channels to extend the reach and discoverability of exhibitors beyond that of a typical onsite trade show.

Content in the form of social media posts, press releases, newsletters, event brochures and look books, among others, will also be created under the Food Philippines brand (foodphilippines.com), to help promote the local food industry by highlighting the country’s food heritage, recipes, feature stories, products, ingredients and culinary talents while linking back to the exhibitors’ digital storefronts.

To help exhibitors maximize the potential of IFEXConnect.com, CITEM is also running content amelioration programs to assist MSME’s in the production of product photos and brand copies meant to optimize both the user experience and their searchability online. This program started with a pilot batch of 100 MSMEs with top food stylist Chichi Tullao and food photographer Justin de Jesus helping in the production.

For all these efforts, CITEM enlisted the expertise of premier storytellers in the food industry: Joey Ong, advertising veteran and Managing Director/Executive Creative Director of Dojo as Chief Storyteller, and Angelo Comsti, chef, food writer, and author of the bestselling cookbooks, From our Table to Yours and Also Filipino, as Editor-in-Chief of the two platforms.

“CITEM, works hand in hand with these food luminaries along with ODV Creative who offered strategic support for content production and event management, and UM Philippines for web development. We are proud to have built a homegrown website and we look forward to building a community that will let the world savor the best of Philippine food,” added Suaco-Juan.

Food companies and buyers are encouraged to register and be the first to experience the shift to digital. Application for the initial batch of exhibitors is until August 25, 2021.

Click here to register as an Exhibitor and here to register as a Buyer.

CITEM Digital Initiatives

These digital initiatives will be managed with the aim of creating profitable relationships between businesses and their customers using a customer relationship management system (CRM) which MSMEs can now benefit from by virtue of being registered exhibitors of CITEM.

MSMEs can even link their e-commerce platforms (such as their online stores in Lazada, Shopee or Alibaba) to their digital storefronts in IFEX to facilitate seamless sales transactions and fulfillment.

Another support that CITEM extends to food MSMEs is its product innovation and development program, which is now known as NxtFoodPH. It is a year-long comprehensive and integrated assistance for the development and promotion of Philippine food products to adapt to changing consumer demands.


The Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) is the export promotion arm of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

CITEM is committed to developing, nurturing, and promoting globally-competitive small and medium enterprises (SMEs), exporters, designers, and manufacturers by implementing an Integrated Approach to Export Marketing in partnership with other government and private entities.

For three decades, CITEM has established the country’s image as the premier destination for quality export products and services. It continues to set the highest standards of creativity, excellence and innovation to achieve export competitiveness in the international market.