Digital transformation highlighted in this year’s National Export Congress

“Driving Exports Through Digital Transformation” was this years’ theme for the annual National Export Congress which was successfully conducted last 06 December 2019 at the Philippine International Convention Center. The theme focused on technology and innovation initiatives to grow exports and promote collaboration between and among the government, industry and academe as a critical element in improving the country’s economy.

The Congress tackled timely and relevant issues on what policies can the government develop to cope up with the demand and rigors of converting the country’s international trade agenda into the digital era.  It also tackled how businesses, especially the export sector, could equip themselves and properly respond to the fast-changing technological revolution that is dominating and shaping today’s global trade.

DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez, in his keynote speech, revealed that the department has called for a P25 billion to P30 billion budget for the export sector over a three-year period as government moves to provide all-out support for the export sector through incentives under the Strategic Investment Priorities Plan (SIPP), implementation of standards and safeguard measures to strengthen domestic manufacturing, reduced trade barriers, and fund mobilization, including soft loans. The Trade Chief added that such a move will not only bolster the country’s economic growth but will address our trade deficit, generate more jobs and employment and income opportunities for Filipinos.

On the other hand, PHILEXPORT President, Mr. Sergio R. Ortiz-Luis, Jr, emphasized the need for the country’s MSMEs to level up their operations and improve their business processes and efficiencies as the economy moves towards emerging opportunities in the age of digitalization.

Moreover, the NEC also gave due recognition and acknowledgment to twenty-one (21) Top Filipino exporters of 2018. They were given recognition based on their track record, excellence and innovation in the delivery of goods and services. Their fortitude and determination to achieve success in producing globally competitive products has greatly contributed to the country’s export revenue.

The awards were presented and handed out by DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, PHILEXPORT President Sergio Ortiz-Luis, Undersecretary Abdulgani Macatoman, and DTI-EMB Director, Senen M. Perlada.

The NEC is the culminating event of the National Exporters Week (NEW). Every first week of December is the annual celebration of the NEW per Presidential Proclamation No. 9931, s. 1996 and House Resolution No. 33. It highlights the government and private sectors’ commitment to continuously work together to sustain export promotion and development.-GTM

PTTC: New hub for MSME Academy

The Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC) recently embraced its new role as the hub for Filipino innovators to produce “smarter” entrepreneurs through the soft launch of the Philippine Global MSME Academy. Moreover, a signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between and among multi-stakeholder collaborators including the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and PTTC, Lead-More Development Inc., and other industry partners for the Integrated Center for Entrepreneurship (ICE) project was also done on 27 February 2019.

The PTTC’s new brand as the home to the Philippines’ Global MSMEs Academy (GMEA) will have a bigger role in developing the country’s entrepreneurship programs as well as honing the skills of the country’s entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs. The GMEA aims to promote more “globally competitive MSMEs that are regionally integrated, resilient, sustainable and innovative, thereby performing as key drivers of inclusive Philippine economic growth”.

For its part in the GMEA, PTTC has aligned its Entrepreneurship training programs for the youth, women and Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in tandem with other institutions providing capacity building programs for the said sectors.

Meanwhile, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said he wants to transform the country’s MSMEs from mere buy and sell traders into innovators who can come up with new products and services that will address local as well as regional and even global needs. The GMEA, he claimed will be the innovation centers and local hubs where aspiring and established entrepreneurs can learn from mentors and seek financing for their businesses. He added that DTI will team up with agencies like DepEd to strengthen the curriculum of elementary and high school students to reinforce science, technology and entrepreneurship and TESDA to develop more skills training for students.

On the other hand, the PTTC was also made the home and administrator of the ASEAN SME Academy, thereby making the Philippines as the first country to become the administrator of the ASEAN SME Academy through the Department of Trade and Industry. As the new academy administrator, the PTTC shall facilitate online forums that will link MSMEs in the Philippines to SMEs in Southeast Asia to share experiences on common issues in business and trade, identify best practices, and benchmark in the best practices of ASEAN member economies.

Further, the ASEAN SME Academy is a one-stop multi-platform online learning and information resource for Southeast Asian SMEs with support from USAID, ASEAN Coordinating Committee on MSME and the US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC).

At present, there are 50 training courses on finance and accounting management, marketing, operation, technology, and trade and logistics from Fortune 500 companies and members of the US-ABC for Competitive SMEs are being offered.  In addition, the Academy contains around 350 relevant links to business information and access to directory of service providers to whom SMEs can reach out for financial advice, corporate programs and networking.