DTI: PHL must tap innovative tech to boost recovery

Innovative technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), can boost the country’s chances of thriving in a post-pandemic world, according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Trade Undersecretary Rafaelita Aldaba said global challenges can be better addressed through innovative technologies, and Philippine firms cannot be left behind in this regard.

Aldaba highlighted the need to harness the power of innovative technologies for local firms to remain competitive in a post-pandemic world.

“While we recognize that collective efforts is instrumental in addressing challenges that are global in scale such as the pandemic, we emphasize that innovative initiatives [e.g., AI] must be harnessed and be placed at the core of all our endeavors to ensure that we will not only overcome overwhelming obstacles but also guarantee that our industries will remain adoptable amidst our ever-changing economic landscape, and that they will thrive moving forward,” Aldaba said in a news statement.

The DTI said that apart from being aware of innovative technologies, local firms would be able to embrace and adapt to new economic realities, which includes AI and other similar technologies.

“It is in this vein, that the government, through the DTI, strives ceaselessly in exploiting the potential of the recent technological and innovative breakthroughs to propel our economy ahead and enhance the competitiveness of our industries, especially at a time when the global economy is being rocked by disruptions coming from all fronts,” Aldaba said.

In order to carry out its vision, DTI will host the Inclusive Innovation Industrial Strategy (I3S), which seeks to bring together participants from the government, industries and academe.

The event will also showcase some of the country’s experts in the field of AI who will deepen and broaden understanding and appreciation of this new technology.

The event will focus on discussions surrounding the envisioned National Center for AI Research; experiences and insights on the adoption of AI by businesses, especially amid the lingering pandemic; and, critical issues surrounding AI particularly those that are related to ethics, governance and regulations.

Last month, the United Nations’ World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Global Innovation Index (GII) report showed the Philippines slipped by one notch to 51st rank out of 132 economies, amid the challenges posed by Covid-19 and decreasing budget for research and development (R&D).

According to the report, the country scored 35.3, which is an improvement from last year’s 35.19. The current ranking, albeit lower, is better than 54th position in the 2019 survey.

The world’s top innovators are Switzerland, Sweden, the United States and the United Kingdom. South Korea jumped to rank 5.

The Philippines ranked fourth among 34 lower middle-income group economies. It is at the bottom half among 17 countries in Southeast Asia, East Asia and Oceania at 11th rank.

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