IN celebration of the significant contribution of exports as the main source of the Philippines’ foreign revenue, the 20th edition of National Exporters Week (NEW) is being observed this week with focus on developing, strengthening and integrating the homegrown small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to the global business community.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) once again is leading this event by holding the National Exporters’ Congress (NEC), themed “Advancing SMEs through Inclusive Business: From Local to Global,” at the Philippine Trade Training Center in Pasay City on December 7.
As the highlight of the NEW, this conclave conducted through collaborative efforts of the DTI’s Export Marketing Bureau (EMB), the Export Development Council (EDC) and the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (Philexport) will be participated in by foreign-trade stakeholders—both from the public and private sectors.
Lined up for this daylong affair are seminars tackling various subjects on the promotion of inclusive business via innovation and facilitating trade by supply, connectivity, regulations, and new markets.
Officials of the trade, agriculture, finance, and science and technology agencies, as well as the other resource persons invited provide insights on these topics.
The Top Sectoral Exporter Awards are conferred to exemplary exporters and outstanding SME and global players in the service sector.
Starting the weeklong celebration was the One Town, One Product Showroom event, featuring Ripples Plus Enrollees, at the DTI Main Building along Gil Puyat Avenue in Makati City.
Tubong Pilipino Ripples Plus Showcase, ongoing until December 10 at the Glorietta 5 Activity Center, Makati, serves as a venue for Filipino exporters and artisans alike to widen their reach by exhibiting their own unique products.
Ripples Plus is the advanced and expanded version of the Regional Interactive Platform for Philippine Exporters (Ripples) that is implemented across the country, in coordination with the DTI Regional Operations Group (DTI-ROG).
Tubong Pilipino is conceptualized as a caravan or a roadshow for local manufacturers slated to tour selected Ayala Malls nationwide. This is also a lifestyle event that features well-crafted furniture, furnishings, home décor, fashion items and delicacies native to the municipality or province.
Meanwhile, engaging sessions called “Usapang Exports,” centered on the updates on the Philippine Export Development Plan, Export Outlook for 2017, Leveraging the Asean Integration, Packaging Trends and Visual Merchandising, Phytosanitary Export Certification Procedures of the Bureau of Plant Industry, Interactive Statistics and Business Matching Platform, Digital Marketing for Beginners, Virtual Seminar on Nontariff Measures and Doing Business with the United Nations, and Export Markets (Israel, Russia, Mexico, South Africa and India) are held throughout the week at the nearby DTI International Building, except during the staging of the NEC.
This year’s observance of the NEW is timely to reflect on the export momentum in the Philippines, which at the latest grew by 5.1 percent from a year earlier to $5.21 billion in September 2016, following a 3-percent decline in August.
By virtue of Presidential Proclamation 931, Series of 1996, and House Resolution 33, the first week of December is declared as the NEW for both the government and the private sector to reaffirm their commitment to sustain export promotion and development.
This national occasion beefs up linkages among micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs); government agencies; business-support organizations; multinational companies; Philippine exporters; academe; and domestic producers in improving capabilities in supplying and maintaining presence in global markets.
At present, there are 950,000 DTI-listed MSMEs in the country. They account for 35 percent of the country’s GDP. More than half or 63 percent of jobs comes from this sector.