TID Talks on IT-BPM. Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo speaks on the latest trade and industry initiatives during the Trade and Industry Development (TID) Talks for the IT-BPM Sector.

The Philippine Board of Investments (BOI), the country’s primary industry development arm and lead investment promotion agency (IPA), has lined up series of discussions with local industries in line with the agency’s thrust to grow and develop domestic industries and enhance their global competitiveness.

Dubbed as Trade and Industry Development (TID) Talks, these series of discussions is BOI’s multi-sector communication platform which serve as venue to inform, update, and exchange views with local industries on initiatives, programs, projects, issues and concerns affecting their competitiveness, and thus, ensure the agency remains responsive to the needs of the industries it serve.

The first session of TID Talks was with the Information Technology – Business Process Management (IT-BPM) and creative services sectors. Conducted on September 27, 2018 at the Makati Diamond Residences, the session was attended by government officials from the BOI, Department of Finance (DOF), Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT), along with relevant stakeholders such as the IT & Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) and the Creative Economic Council of the Philippines (CECP).

We are here to have a dialogue, to have a conversation, to talk and listen to each other. These TID Talks serve as a platform through which the BOI can reach out to the private sector to discuss trade and industry development initiatives and have a discussion on how we can remain steadfast in responding to the needs of our local industries,” Trade Assistant Secretary Rafaelita Aldaba said at the start of program.

With abrupt changes in the domestic and external markets such as the trade war involving major trading economies, the heightened inflation, rising imports and export slowdown, we need your inputs as we continue to formulate our policies and programs to better address these changes,” Assistant Secretary Aldaba said.

We hope to strengthen our partnership with the private sector in implementing the IT-BPM Roadmap and discuss the formulation of the Creative Economy Roadmap. We also need your partnership and support in formulating the Strategic Investment Priority Plan (SIPP) this year,” she further said.

We have to re-engage the stakeholders, we’re seeing changes in the environment. These TID Talks are instrumental in development and implementation of the Industry Roadmaps. As we deepen our discussions on the action points of these roadmaps, we can readily map out what will happen in these industries and what changes are needed,” Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo said.

Undersecretary Rodolfo pointed out the Philippines continues to be one of the strongest economic performers in the Asian region with its 6.3 percent GDP growth in the first half of 2018, among the fastest, next only to China and Vietnam despite the recent developments.

After the BOI’s record breaking Php617 billion investment target, we are still on track to meet our 2018 target of Php680 billion. As of end September, we are already ahead of 18 percent from last year in the same period. Additionally, actual foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows as shown by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) are up 42 percent year-on-year from January to June, after registering a record US$10 billion in 2017,” Rodolfo asserted.

He said that our strong domestic demand is being serviced by imports. “That is why we need to identify what critical investments are needed in order to localize the products and services that we are now importing,” Rodolfo added.

Other strategic shifts and key initiatives that Undersecretary Rodolfo mentioned include the country’s engagement with non-traditional trading partners, prioritizing domestic reforms that will improve the overall business environment as the Philippines positions itself as a manufacturing and services hub in the ASEAN region and the gateway to Asia. Israel to expand our markets.

With the pending change of incentive regime, Finance Undersecretary Karl Kendrick Chua presented an overview of the Tax Reform for Attracting Better and High-quality Opportunities (TRABAHO) Bill.

Our creativity is like seeds. Our biggest challenge is how can we plant the creativity of the Filipino in the Philippines so that they will yield the economic, social and cultural productivities resulting in a thousand-fold benefit for us,” CECP President Paolo Mercado said. The proposed Creative Economy Roadmap envisions the Philippines as the top creative economy in ASEAN by 2030 in terms of size and value of its creative industries as well as the competitiveness of its creative talent and content in international markets. Mercado said this is possible by developing creative clusters and cities as “creative clusters are where people work and creative cities are where they prefer to live.” He also expounded that “creative tourism is a strategy where we go beyond beaches, resorts and casinos and start to build around creative festivals and conferences. And last but not the least, we should also tap creative education as it is not just technical education but it is education that inspire original thinkers that produce intellectual property.”

The IT-BPM Industry has contributed a multitude of direct and indirect benefits to the Philippine economy. From an employment standpoint, we are already employing 5 million Filipinos directly and indirectly. Not only are we creating jobs, but we are creating good-paying jobs. We are paving the way for the emerging middle class. But beyond that, if we look our contribution to consumption power, this industry is contributing in excess of Php300 billion annually to Filipino households. That’s a lot of spending power. The ripple effect on other industries is also quite prominent. In totality, this industry has contributed around Php800 billion in 2016 alone to the Philippine economy,” IBPAP President Rey Untal said. He added that “we will continue to be a catalyst for improving education so that we can respond not just for the needs now of this industry but we also need to respond to the jobs of the future.”

The upcoming TID Talks scheduled for the rest of October include sectors covering the Mining, Tourism, Paper, Book Publishing and Printing.

For November, the focus shifts on Construction, Mass Housing, Cement and Ceramic tiles. Agribusiness, Metalcasting, Tool and Die and Shipbuilding and Ship Repair sectors are also booked.

For December, the launching of the Garments and Textiles Industry Roadmap will be held along with sessions on the Furniture, Jewelry and the Gifts, Decors and Housewares sectors. The automotive, aerospace, electronics and appliances sectors will also be tackled before the year ends.♦

Date of Release: 25 October 2018