MANILA, PHILIPPINES – With the goal to further innovate and transform Philippine industries to adapt to the rapidly evolving digital landscape, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), together with Amazon Web Services (AWS), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aiming to provide cutting-edge digital services and solutions to budding Filipino entrepreneurs and innovators. 

Formalized in February 2023, the MoU aims to provide training workshops to upskill and reskill the Filipino workforce, help Filipino entrepreneurs and innovators adopt digital technologies to increase productivity and competitiveness, and collaborate with key public and private stakeholders to promote innovation and digital transformation in the Philippines.  

Trade and Industry Secretary Fred Pascual lauded the formalization of the agreement and emphasized that “It is critical to forge partnerships with leading global innovators that would promote innovation among Philippine businesses and accelerate their adoption of digital technologies. With the government’s support and the private sector’s participation, we are confident that we can meet the President’s medium-term socio-economic agenda by encouraging research and development, innovation, and enhancing the digital economy.” 

By collaborating with AWS, DTI aims to leverage AWS’s latest cloud capabilities, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), Internet of Things (IoT), to accelerate innovation in the Philippines and drive economic growth. 

“We are honored to support DTI to modernize Philippine industries by training up a digitally skilled workforce and helping local businesses harness the power of the cloud to accelerate innovation,” said Julian Lau, Head of ASEAN Emerging Markets, Worldwide Public Sector at AWS. “AWS is committed to the long-term growth of the Philippines’ digital future, and we believe the cloud can help unlock more opportunities for Filipino businesses and public sector organizations to deliver better outcomes for citizens and strengthen the country’s global competitiveness.”    

With the DTI’s new industrialization strategy anchored on Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) to propel the economy and ensure shared prosperity for all, embracing Industry 4.0 technologies would be crucial for enterprises to remain competitive. 

To prepare the Philippines for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0, and accelerate the digital economy, it will be crucial to develop a digitally trained workforce so they can be equipped to leverage cloud technology to drive innovation. Through the MoU, AWS will help DTI address the digital skills gap and support upskilling by conducting training workshops for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) and startups, and public sector agencies in the Philippines. Individual learners and education institutions in the Philippines will also be able to access AWS’s upskilling programs, such as AWS Educate, which provides self-paced training and resources for those new to the cloud, AWS Academy, which provides industry-recognized certifications, and AWS re/Start, a full-time program that is offered at no cost and that prepares individuals for cloud careers.  

With MSMEs and startups as an important driver of the local economy, DTI will also leverage AWS programs to support MSMEs and startups to innovate to meet evolving citizen needs. Through the MoU, MSMEs and startups will benefit from access to programs such as AWS Activate and AWS re/Start, which provide credits, technical support, and training to help startups scale their growth. 

With its broad network, DTI will introduce these AWS programs to the country’s regions through the Regional Inclusive Innovation Centers (RIICs), Negosyo Centers, and other digital technology and capacity-enhancing platforms and programs.  

Adding to this, with the Center for Artificial Intelligence Research (CAIR) launch in 2022, DTI and AWS agree to strengthen their ties further in exploring collaborations in the promotion and responsible adoption of AI in the Philippines. 

AWS will also collaborate with DTI to conduct pilots using AWS to support DTI and its agencies in their digital transformation and modernization initiatives. With AWS’s industry-leading security capabilities and resilient infrastructure, AWS can help DTI and its agencies innovate rapidly to better serve citizens while staying resilient and secure.   

Undersecretary Aldaba firmly believes that “the Philippines has a wealth of entrepreneurs and innovators who are driven by their desire to do things better, provide solutions, create value, and address customer demands. We believe that with the right collaborators like AWS, they can boost their businesses through digital technologies and serve as a primary engine of economic development.”  

Meanwhile, showing support for MSME growth and development, Undersecretary Lantayona said that the DTI and AWS collaboration would catalyze the digitalization of MSMEs,” Undersecretary Lantayona. “MSMEs are the backbone of the Philippine economy. Hence it is imperative that we equip them with the right technology tools to enhance their businesses and help them to grow.” 

Date of release: 30 March 2023