EVERY year, during the first week of December, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) leads in celebrating National Exporters’ Week to honor the country’s homegrown manufacturers of export goods and providers of services that have helped place the Philippines on the world map.
For indeed, among the mandates of the DTI is to develop and implement policies that assist local companies break into and in increasing numbers, dominate sectors of world trade.
Presidential Proclamation 931, series of 1996, and House Resolution 33 gave the DTI and its affiliated agencies the mandate to declare the first week of December as the National Exporters’ Week to encourage all sectors of society to move as one toward the promotion and development of Philippine exports.
In this year’s activities, the DTI is assisted by its Export Marketing Bureau (EMB), the private-sector led Philippine Exporters Confederation (PhilExport) and the Export Development Council in leading the celebration of the strides the country has made in the field of international trade.
First among the week’s activities are a series of seminars under the Usapang Exports program. Centering on the event’s theme “SPICE [Stimulate. Permeate. Innovate. Connect. Expand!] Up to Scale Up! Expand Exports for Inclusive Pros- perity,” the sessions included “Start-ups for Exporters” (December 3); “Export Opportunities: Learning from the Trade Attaches” (December 4); and “International Certification and Standards for Greater Market Access for Gifts, Decors, and Housewares (GDH) and Wearables Sectors” (December 5).
The week’s highlight event is the 2018 National Export Congress (NEC) scheduled on December 7 which is slated at the Philippine International Convention Center’s Reception Hall. The DTI-EMB teamed up with the Board of Investments (BOI), the Competitiveness Bureau (CB), and the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (Citem) in coming up with new activities for the participants.
The BOI, CB and Citem collaborated in the first Logistics Services Philippines Conference and Exhibition scheduled on December 6 and 7, also at the PICC. The LSPH Exhibition on December 7 will be held at PICC’s Reception Hall’s Mezzanine Area simultaneous with the Business Match- ing Hub, Kapiterya and Export Enablers Exhibit.
Highlight of the Congress is honoring 23 of the country’s top exporters in the fields of electronics, processed food and beverages, machinery and transport equipment, minerals, motor vehicle parts (ignition wiring sets), chemicals, coconut oil, woodcraft and furniture, metal components, fresh fruits, apparel and services.
Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez, DTI – Trade and Investments Promotion Group (TIPG) Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado, DTI-EMB Director Senen M. Perlada, and PhilExport President Sergio R. Ortiz-Luis Jr. will lead in awarding the country’s 23 top-performing exporters.
“The award and recognition is one way to stimulate the exporting community so they can take advantage of the opportunities of the global market,” Perlada said.
Among the activities available to the participants are business matching meetings and networking at the Congress’ Business Matching Hub. Delegates can conduct productive discussions about business growth and create collaborations to strengthen the Philippine export industry.
The first Logistics Services Philippines (LSPH) Exhibition can provide a venue for exporters to gain access to the full range of logistics services from across the country and engage with LSPH providers that best fit their businesses.
Meanwhile, the Export Enabler Exhibit will give exporters a chance to connect with various government agencies and business organizations in order to expand their current network and get industry updates on regulations and market opportunities.
Perlada said the EMB which he heads has helped keep the interest of exporters alive the whole year with the regular information sessions and business-matching activities his bureau sponsored year-round.
“With the 49 events we conducted during the first 10 months of the year, we were able to assist 3,374 exporters with their unique requirements,” he said.
“A major accomplishment are the 20 outbound business missions [OBMs]we conducted that gave 421 exporters a hands-on experience in the conduct of face-to-face trade. Through those 20 OBM, we generated sales totaling $81.23 million,” he said.
Perlada also cited the 31 information sessions the EMB conducted under the “Doing Business in Free Trade Areas” Program which reached 1,876 representatives from 854 companies throughout the Philippines.
“We especially take pride in the first Philippine National Halal Conference and the 10 sessions held under the Philippine Halal Export Promotion and Development Program,” he said. “Through the government’s policy of inclusion, we were able to reach 840 participants. We hope to continue holding information sessions in the Visayas and Mindanao.”
Perlada said the free trade agreements the country through the DTI has forged with foreign country and regional partners has provided the country’s exporters competitive advantage over other countries that do no enjoy reduced tariff on thousands of goods entering the targeted market.
The Philippines currently has FTAs with the Asean as a single economic bloc as well as FTAs with China, Japan, Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand. It also enjoys a preferential trade status with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), composed of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.