‘MSMEs, LGUs must cooperate on exports’

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THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has called on micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and local government units (LGU) in the provinces to work together to reach the country’s export targets under the 2015-2017 Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP).

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Through its Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) and the Export Development Council (EDC), the DTI recently gathered MSMEs and LGUs in the Visayas and Mindanao to discuss ways on how to reach the “export stretch target” of 8 percent to 9 percent growth this year amid slowing global demand and last year’s contraction.

At a forum on PEDP 2015-2017 regionalization, DTI-EMB Director Sennen M. Perlada said it was important for LGUs and the private sector to collaborate to improve the country’s export performance.

“After several consultations on the plan two years ago, we are now back in the regions to present the approved PEDP. We encourage an active participation from the regional level, even at the barangay level, in attaining our export goals,” Perlada told the forum.

Funded by the European Union Trade Related Technical Assistance Project 3 (EU-TRTA 3), the forum was attended by more than 200 participants from the Visayas and Mindanao export community composed of other government agencies, LGUs, MSMEs, and various representatives from the private sector.

DTI Region 11 Director Belenda Ambi encouraged Mindanao exporters to take advantage of the opportunities and strategies indicated in the PEDP to improve their products and increase their competitiveness in the global market.

“Leverage and take advantage of these interventions to attain competitiveness. We look forward to Mindanao exporters to position themselves and able to tap or widen its participation in global trade,” Ambi said.

DTI Region 7 Director Asteria C. Caberte vowed that the Visayan exporters would participate actively in achieving the PEDP targets.

“We, in the region, will continue our efforts in meeting with our sectors and will continue to set the bar higher,” Caberte said.

Florian Alburo, head of the Technical Assistance Team of TRTA 3, highlighted the clause on innovation in improving the country’s export competitiveness.

“The plan calls for innovation. Innovative businesses and products around the world are from small countries. Innovation and quality could really jumpstart Philippine exports,” Alburo said.

The PEDP regionalization forum was intended to present the recently approved export plan to the exporting communities in the country and to equip export producers with the knowledge to maximize the opportunities and interventions that the plan offers.

Last March 16, the first leg of the PEDP Regionalization for the National Capital Region and Region 4 was held in Pasig City. The next leg will be held today, April 5, in Clark, Pampanga which will be for the Luzon Region.

PEDP Regionalization is supported and funded by the EU-TRTA 3. It is an expanded technical assistance of the EU to the Philippines to promote trade and investment, inclusive growth and poverty reduction.

It supports the Philippines’ integration into the international and regional trading and investment system through technical assistance on policy and legislative reforms, procedural and technical improvements and capacity development.

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