07 July 2018

Published also in Business Mirror

In Photo: The Philippines and Japan conducted the third round of Industrial Cooperation Dialogue on June 22 as part of the continued cooperation between the two countries to focus on strategic areas of partnership. Leading the Philippine side are Trade Assistant Secretary for Industry Development and Trade Policy Group Rafaelita Aldaba (left) and Trade Undersecretary and Board of Investments Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo.

THE Philippines and Japan conducted the third round of their Industrial Cooperation Dialogue on June 22 as part of the continued cooperation between the two countries to focus on strategic areas of partnership.

“These industry cooperation initiatives focus more on collaboration than negotiation. Being the country’s second-largest trading partner, we value Japan as among our partners in nation-building as the Philippines continues to modernize and expand its economy anchored on the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program of the government. This dialogue will hopefully serve as the template for our bilateral negotiations with other countries in terms of partnership and cooperation,” said Trade Undersecretary and Board of Investments (BOI) Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo at the start of the dialogue at the Board of Investments Building in Makati City.

“This discussion will allow Japan to contribute and help the Philippines take advantage of its competitiveness and position itself as a manufacturing hub in the ASEAN region. The experiences of Japanese firms in specific industries like the automotive, electronics and other selected industries will hopefully spark the country to undertake the necessary reforms and action plans to push further ahead,” Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry  official Satoshi Miura said in his capacity as the head of the Japanese delegation.

During the dialogue, Trade Assistant Secretary for Industry Development and Trade Policy Group Rafaelita  Aldaba presented the updates of the implementation of the industrial development vision through the Inclusive Innovation Industrial Strategy, otherwise known as the i3S.

“The Department of Trade and Industry and the BOI are further doubling their efforts in creating and sustaining the right policy framework that encourages the further development of the private sector along the lines of the country’s comparative advantage,” Aldaba said.

The i3S prioritizes the growth and development of 12 major industries which include manufacturing (of which automotive is part of), electronics, aerospace, shipbuilding, chemicals, information-technology-business process management particularly knowledge-process outsourcing, agribusiness, infrastructure and logistics. The i3S will usher in the upgrading of local industries which will allow them to better participate in global value chains, and generate more, better, and higher value jobs for the Filipinos.

The third round of dialogue between the Philippines and Japan is expected to deepen the cooperation and further boost trade and investment ties between the two countries.

Extensive discussions were held on strategic areas, such as the state of the automotive industry in the country and the direction of the automotive policy, effect of Kaizen activities for elaboration of industrial promotion plans using value-chain analysis, creation of large-scale employment through the establishment of domestic industrial base, creation of high value-added employment through innovation, prospects of fintech start-ups and regional development.

Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. and Mitsubishi Motor Philippines Corp. disclosed they have already invested a total of P10.7 billion so far in the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence (CARS) Program, one of the flagship programs of the DTI-BOI’s Manufacturing Resurgence Program.  According to a Jica study, domestic auto sales are projected to hit 1.2 million units by 2027.

Both Toyota and Mitsubishi said, while the industry continues to face challenges, they express optimism in complying with the requirements of the CARS program and hope that government authorities and the industry will find a “workable balance” to support the program and at the same time generate much-needed revenues, in the wake of the second phase of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law to fund the infrastructure program and create a sustainable and inclusive growth for the country.

The dialogue was attended by officials and representatives from state-run agencies such as the DTI, BOI, Philippine Economic Zone Authority, National Economic and Development Authority and other related offices. Also present were officers and representatives of Japan International Cooperation Agency, Japanese Embassy, Japan External Trade Organization, Japan Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines, Toyota Motor Philippines Co., Mitsubishi Motors Philippines, Denso Corp. and other representatives of the Japanese delegation.


Image Credits: BOI INFOCOMMS

By Kristina Noelle S. Andaya | Knowledge Processing Division | DTI-Export Marketing Bureau

07 July 2018

Published also in Business Mirror

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) spearheaded an Outbound Business Mission (OBM) to Vietnam on June 19-21, 2018 that booked sales of $265,000 to its Philippine participants.

Ceferino Rodolfo, Undersecretary of the DTI Industry Development and Trade Policy Group; and DTI Export Marketing Bureau Director Senen Perlada had a bilateral meeting with Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) Deputy Minister Tran Quoc Khanh.  They were assisted by DTI-EMB Assistant Director Agnes Perpetua Legaspi.

The business mission was the result of Rodolfo’s and Tran’s meeting on April 24, 2017 when Tran invited Rodolfo to organize a Philippine mission to Vietnam to beef up the bilateral trade of the two countries.

Last year, the country’s trade deficit with Vietnam amounted to about $1.6 billion.  In particular, the Philippines will offer products Vietnam normally imports from Thailand.

In this OBM to Vietnam, 18 companies with 32 representatives participated. Six were exporters of processed food, five were in personal care, one in garments, another in franchising, one in motorcycle, one in food machinery and three in other sectors.

During the Vietnam-Philippines Business Opportunity Forum, the Philippine companies introduced their products to potential buyers and importers.

Part of the business matching was the market-scanning activity involving visits to Aeon Mall, a specialist shopping mall in Vietnam. Some companies were able to visit the mall and helped to gain distributors. They also checked the supermarket’s Asian section where Philippine products were not that visible except for Universal Robina Corp.-Vietnam (URC-VN) products.

The business delegation was invited by URC-VN and Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP) for a briefing and plant and beverage tour.

Binh Duong province in Vietnam is home to the first VSIP established back in 1996. VSIP is a self-contained industrial park with modern facilities such as ready-built factories, and full infrastructure facilities including electricity, treated water, sewerage treatment, and telecommunications for investors to set up their manufacturing plants. The Philippine companies operating in VSIP are URC- VN, Oishi, Unilab, Rebisco, and Green Cross.

The delegates also learned from URC-VN as the company shared what they learned in sustaining their company’s operation in Vietnam.

By PhilExport News and Features

07 July 2018

Published also in Business Mirror

EXPORTERS are seeking clarification from the Philippine National Police (PNP) on unresolved issues on the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) on controlled chemicals, noting these have adversely affected the competitiveness of the industry.

In a letter to Police Director General Chief Oscar D. Albayalde of the PNP, Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (PhilExport) President Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. said these issues have remained pending since the approval of the IRR in June 2016.

The PNP is implementing the IRR on Controlled Chemicals pursuant to Section 4C and 4F of Presidential Decree 1866 on illegal possession of firearms and explosives, as amended by Republic Act (RA) 9516 approved on June 9, 2016.

“While we appreciate the objective of the IRR toward promoting and preserving national security, there are issues that have yet to be resolved which have adversely affected the competitiveness of the industry, particularly stakeholders in the housewares sector that use these regulated chemicals in their production,” Ortiz-Luis said.

The Export Development Council Networking Committee on Trade Policies and Procedures Simplification (NCTPPS), which is chaired by PhilExport, underscored the need for the PNP to determine threshold quantity on controlled chemicals for micro and small enterprises (MSEs) and provide guidelines on its implementation.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has issued Department Administrative Order 18-01 in January with subject guidelines on certifying MSEs engaged in the business of purchasing PNP-controlled chemicals.

“However, this is still cannot be implemented since the PNP is yet to determine threshold quantity for MSEs,” NCTPPS said.

It also urged the Department of the Interior and Local Government/PNP to review and amend Executive Order 256 to rationalize fees for the application for controlled chemicals and the removal of fee for permit to unload, subject for consultation with relevant stakeholders.

Stakeholders have been recommending the removal of the requirement of permit to unload. Unloading is said to be an integral part of the importation process.

07 July 2018

Published also in Business Mirror

BUDDING entrepreneurs have been urged to start a cross-border e-commerce business, as billions of people now shop online.

“In 2020 the cross-border e-commerce is expected to account for about $900-billion GMV [gross merchandise value], translating into a roughly 22-percent share of the global e-commerce market,” e-commerce Business Consultant Michael Jan Menzon said.

Menzon said more consumers opt for cross-border e-commerce shopping mainly due to better product availability, especially in mature e-commerce markets such as Japan, Germany and the United Kingdom.

“Having an attractive offering [including price] stands out as key to convincing international consumers to act,” he said during the Philippine Export Competitiveness Program information session.

To start a cross-border e-commerce business, Menzon said entrepreneurs should identify their cross-border business opportunity, have understanding of local tastes and rules, and provide shipping options.

He also underscored the need for global local site showing tailored assortment, and informing of worldwide shipping and multiple easy locally preferred payment options.

Menzon added finding the right partner is also imperative in order to facilitate easy market entry.

Cross-border e-commerce generally defines international online trade when consumers buy online from merchants located in other countries and jurisdictions.

It can refer to online trade between a business (retailer or brand) and a consumer (B2C), between two businesses, often brands or wholesalers (B2B), or between two private persons (C2C), including through marketplace platforms, such as Amazon, eBay and Lazada.

30 June 2018

Published in Business Mirror

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), as the chairman of the Doing Business Task Force, is pleased to highlight the reform initiatives undertaken to improve the ease of doing business and level up the Philippines’s global competitiveness ranking.

Key reforms include Quezon City’s Business One-Stop Shop which streamlines the process-registration process into just three steps: file, pay and claim. With this, applicants can complete the whole procedure in just one hour, as long as all the necessary requirements are complete.

Applicants do not need to move from different offices located in different floors/areas to obtain licenses and permits or make payments on locational clearance and fire-safety inspection since the city’s Zoning Administrator and the Bureau of Fire Protection are situated in one location, making it possible to simultaneously evaluate applications for these permits.

Another reform is Securities and Exchange Commission’s Company Registration System which allows the online verification of proposed company name and submission of application for SEC registration and documentary requirements. It also gives the user an option to pay the SEC fees online through the LandBank ePayment.

“These reforms contribute to improved process of obtaining business and other related permits. Before it was tedious, burdensome, took much time, and people needed to comply to drastic amounts of requirements. With the old setup, people would be discouraged to start a business. But now, it’s different. It is more efficient, streamlined and more customer-friendly. I believe that this could attract more business to invest in our country, and this will lead to more job generation for our fellow men,” Trade Secretary and Doing Business Task Force Chairman Ramon M. Lopez said.

In addition to the reforms stated above, the government recently enacted the Ease of Doing Business Efficient Government Service Delivery Act (EODB-EGSDA) of 2018. The Act serves as the game changer in the government’s endeavor to ease doing business in the country.

Important provisions of the EODB law include the institutionalization of the prescribed steps and processing time for transactions like issuance of local business licenses, clearances, and permits and mandating the use of the unified business application form, which consolidates all the information of the applicant or request party, in processing new application or business permits and business renewals by various local government departments.

“Improving access to economic opportunities will require us to listen to our customers—the people and investors. We should not burden them with bureaucratic red tape,” Lopez added.

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