Freeman Cebu Business

DTI boosts efforts to link MSMEs to global market

Carlo S. Lorenciana - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — The Department of Trade and Industry seeks the continued effort to link Filipino micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to the global market.

This as DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez also emphasized the continuous cooperation and collaboration between the government and the private sector in promoting investments and achieving economic growth.

The trade chief recently discussed during the recent 43rd Philippine Business Conference the “Focused and Strategic (FAST) Action Agenda on Investment” initiative, which is a project of DTI and the Board of Investments (BOI) to link MSMEs to ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and Global Multinational Enterprises (MNEs).

“With our goal to lower the income gap and uplift the lives of those at the bottom of the pyramid, it is our priority to link our MSMEs to bigger value chains, provide them the necessary tools to compete in the international market, and even export their products abroad,” Lopez said.

With the Philippines as the current host of the ASEAN regional meet this year, the FAST Action Agenda on Investment is a key deliverable of country under the ASEAN economic pillar, he said.

Lopez also underscored the potential of the country as an investment destination for both local and foreign investors, citing its export turnaround, improving manufacturing and industry sectors, young population, and market access to ASEAN and other trade partners.

The Philippines' Foreign Trade Agreements (FTAs) with ASEAN provides it with a 620-million market share, while the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) gives the country a 2.2-billion market reach.

The trade chief was also optimistic of the expansion of the trade preferences arrangements via the Generalized System of Preferences Plus (GSP+) of the EU and the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) of the US.

Moreover, Lopez highlighted the 2017 Investment Priorities Program (IPP), a blueprint on the preferred sectors and investments entitled to incentives.

The program includes the Inclusive Business (IB) model, which creates greater market access for MSMEs.

The IPP likewise covers the expansion of incentives for manufacturing activities and supports the government’s Manufacturing Resurgence Program (MRP), which creates solid and stable jobs for Filipinos.

“The DTI and BOI are committed to continue providing policy environment and programs that support investment promotion, and increase the participation of MSMEs in the regional and global supply chain," the trade official said. (FREEMAN)

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