^

Freeman Cebu Business

Phl to push for SME agenda in AEC

Carlo S. Lorenciana - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines – The growth benefits of the regional integration of ASEAN economies must reach all levels in the industry especially the small and medium enterprises, a trade official said.

Regional Operations Group undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya of Department of Trade and Industry said SMEs have a paramount role in the success of ASEAN Economic Community which seeks to build an integrated economic region.

"We are pushing the SME agenda because many of our trade rules and regulations are better suited for big businesses and not so much of SME in mind," Maglaya said during a forum on ASEAN integration in Cebu.

"We keep pushing amendments in trade rules and simplify application so they can benefit from free trade agreements," she continued.

Contribution

The sector’s contribution to the region’s economic growth is crucial as it comprises 96 percent of all businesses and provides most of the domestic employment in region.

Maglaya noted programs have been undertaken to support small industry players ahead of the 2015 integration.

She cited the passage of Negosyo Act 2014 which requires cities and municipalities to build Negosyo Centers. The SME Roving Academy also helps the sector to become competitive in both local and international markets.

“We bring our services to SMEs more accessible with the creation of these centers,” she added, saying Cebu is one of pilot areas to have such center. More centers are set to be built around the country next year, the official said.

In the same forum, Dr. Ramon Clarete, senior adviser of United States Agency for International Development, stressed the significance of local players in free trade agreements and other AEC-related policies that could affect their business.

“In order for this (FTAs) to work and sustain, SMEs need to be part of what is going on right now,” he said. “Our government should put emphasis on this sector. There’s no inclusive growth without SMEs.”

The 2015 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, which kicked off last Monday and the Philippines is hosting, is set to highlight the big contribution of SME industry in the country’s economy and its integration in global supply chains.

ASIA PACIFIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION

CEBU

DR. RAMON CLARETE

ECONOMIC COMMUNITY

INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

MAGLAYA

MONDAY AND THE PHILIPPINES

NEGOSYO ACT

NEGOSYO CENTERS

REGIONAL OPERATIONS GROUP

  • Latest
Latest
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with