The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) aims to integrate micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in overseas trade and investment promotions through the Foreign Trade Service Corps (FTSC).
During the 10-day planning conference of the FTSC, the country’s arm to promote Philippine trade and investment worldwide carried out by commercial counsellors, DTI Undersecretary Zenaida C. Maglaya stressed that MSMEs should be at the front and center of regional and global trade.
Maglaya said the department was advancing policy frameworks that would push for
MSME participation in the global value chains, in line with its MSME advocacy in various meetings and conferences this year such as Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, ASEAN, and the World Trade Organization.
“We should not lose the opportunity of joining the bandwagon in pushing for MSMEs development,” she pointed out.
The country will capitalize in attracting trade and investments through free trade agreements (FTAs) where the Philippines is a signatory as well as the generalized scheme of preferences with the European Union and the United States.
The Philippines has an FTA with ASEAN member countries through the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) and FTAs with South Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, China, and India through the ASEAN+1.
The country has only one bilateral trade agreement with Japan through the Philippines-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (PJEPA).
The FTSC is also urged to promote new growth sectors in the country such as health information management systems (HIMS), animation, big data, analytics, tech start-ups, aerospace, automotive and auto parts manufacturing, integrated circuit (IC) design and electronics manufacturing services (EMS), food, and infrastructure.
To date, FTSC has 25 overseas posts in 18 countries in Europe, the Middle East, North America, and Asia and the Pacific.