• DTI prompts MSMEs to embrace e-commerce

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    The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is encouraging micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) to take advantage of global trade opportunities by doing business via e-commerce.

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    “We are focusing our promotion activities on e-commerce, not only within the East Asia Sub Region but as well as nationally to help micro, small, and medium enterprises to engage in borderless trade, given the population within the East Asia Sub region is a huge market for e-commerce,” DTI Undersecretary for Special Concerns Prudencio Reyes said in a statement.

    The Philippine E-Commerce Roadmap is targeting 100,000 MSMEs for e-commerce by 2020 out of the more than 937,000 MSMEs in the country. Southeast Asian has 143.1 million internet users, including 44.2 million from the Philippines.

    In conjunction with its regional offices, the DTI is conducting e-commerce roadshows around the Philippines to meet its goal.

    This is expected to help entrepreneurs acquaint themselves with e-business models, e-payments, e-commerce website development, e-commerce platform, and e-commerce marketing. The DTI said it will first train the trainers and business counselors in series of seminars and workshops nationwide.

    One way of engaging MSMEs to embrace in e-commerce is to build financing startups, Prudencio said.

    The DTI is currently profiling MSMEs and building a system for banks to access specific information on the capital needs of different businesses. This will reveal the credentials and accountability of MSMEs.

    Prudencio said “e-commerce is more of an opportunity rather than an expense” as the cost for setting up platforms will be minimal when cost of introducing an MSME’s products to the global market is taken into consideration.

    Existing platforms such as the DTI’s Negosyo Centers and the Design Center of the Philippines will serve to facilitate access to grants and improve quality and branding, he said.

    He cited some government undertakings that will further help MSMEs enter the e-commerce stream. These are the revised Computerized Accounting System of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the National Retail Payment System of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

    A product of private, academe, and government consultations, the Philippine E-commerce
    Roadmap 2016-2020 sets the direction of the industry toward the development of an enhanced e-commerce ecosystem with key areas focused on infrastructure, innovation, investment, information flow, intellectual capital, and integration.

    Launched in February 2016, the roadmap is in line with the Boracay Action Agenda of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation to globalize MSMEs.

    The DTI is attending the “Workshop on Cross Border E-Commerce: Towards Seamless Connectivity” on March 9 to 11 in Bangkok, Thailand. The workshop is an initiative of the Asian Development Bank to enhance connectivity among Southeast Asian markets.

    The department said the country will participate to explore cross-border e-commerce development and cooperation.

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