AVID holds 5th Thought Leadership Forum

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The Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors (AVID) held its fifth Thought Leadership Forum (TLF) during the recent Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) held at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

The forum tackled the global value chain (GVC), which pertains to the full range of activities across nations and regions that are needed to bring a product or service from conception to the consumer. The group said these include design, raw-materials sourcing, assembly, marketing and distribution, as well as policy areas like trade-policy concerns, investment policy and public-policy-driven, non-tariff measures that affect goods and services. Forum speakers also said GVCs are proven to increase competitiveness and inclusive growth worldwide.

This year’s TLF featured four international speakers who talked about how the Philippine car industry can compete in the regional automotive GVC as integration within Southeast Asia deepens.

Ben Shepherd, founder of Developing Trade Consultants (topic: ‘The Globalization of Value Chains: Lessons from Eastern Europe, Asia, and Latin America’), discussed how GVCs are at the very core of the global economy and how these value chains present immense growth opportunities for emerging economies like the Philippines.


Fukunari Kimura, chief economist of the Economic Institute for Asean and East Asia (topic: ‘Global Value Chains in the Context of Trade and Investment Policies’), talked about how integration under the Association of Southeast Asian Nations requires member-countries to harmonize many policy areas in order to fully benefit from GVCs.

Ganeshan Wignaraja, principal economist for the Asian Development Bank (topic: ‘Regional Value Chains, SMEs and Trade Slowdown’), Wignaraja discussed how GVCs allow small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries to participate in certain stages of the global production process, rather than developing and managing the entire process themselves. Also, he said SMEs, through GVCs, are vital in sustaining growth in Asean and mitigating trade slowdown.

Rafaelita Aldaba, assistant secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry (topic: ‘The Automotive GVC: Decoding Opportunities for the Philippines’), Aldaba talked about how the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) Program utilizes GVC integration to beef up car production in the Philippines, which she said is plagued by lack of economies of scale, weak supply linkages and high costs of production.

“On our fifth year, we purposely give a global flavor to the AVID TLF against our increasingly integrated regional and global business landscape,” said AVID president Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo. “We aim to extend to a broader audience our advocacy for the development of the Philippine automotive industry while upholding consumer welfare and to concretize our involvement in the global automotive conversation,” added Agudo, who is also the head of Hyundai Automotive Resources Inc., the official distributor of Hyundai vehicles in the Philippines.

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