Manila—With the aim of transforming Philippine exports into a globally competitive sector and delivering exporting breakthroughs, Secretary Fred Pascual emphasized the importance of pursuing an industry development-centric approach to export development during the National Export Congress (NEC). The Congress was held on 7 December 2022 at the Philippine International Convention Centre (PICC) and was jointly organized by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Export Development Council (EDC), and the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT).

While the export industry indeed encountered setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trade Chief shared that last year, the Philippines has seen a steady rise in its total exports of goods and services. He further highlighted that leveraging on existing capabilities and assets would allow the Philippines to open broader horizons and maximize opportunities for industry development.

“Industry development means addressing constraints to both scale and scope of production—particularly in innovation and value addition, human resource development, business environment, finance, and infrastructure. It means competing beyond pricing and amplifying the quality, value-addition, sustainability, and reliability of Philippine exports in the global market,” Pascual said.

By developing and expounding the country’s skills and capabilities, its competitiveness in the global value chain (GVC) will also be amplified. This is why the government is undertaking a cluster approach to developing and promoting export priorities.

Aside from industry development, Secretary Pascual also shared that the Philippines is adopting a Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI)-driven industrialization strategy, which aims to attain a more resilient, inclusive, and sustainable economy by 2028. This provided attendees an overview of DTI’s industrialization plan and various initiatives aimed at repositioning the country in the GVC.

Despite the contracting effects of the pandemic towards the export sector, Secretary Pascual boasted that “In 2020 and 2021, over 3,000 exporters managed to grow despite the global trade slump. Of this number, 403 exporters in 2020 managed to increase their export sales by more than USD1 million compared to their previous year; this number almost doubled to 742 in 2021”, a testament to the effectivity of the government’s economic recovery initiatives.

The Trade Chief delivered a keynote messaged on the topic Pursuing an Industry Development Centric Approach to Export Growth, Sustainability and Competitiveness. In closing, he assured exporters that DTI stands ready to support the sector and aspiring exporters in their journey from product development to economic success.

The Congress was also attended by other esteemed guests and speakers including Senator Mark Villar, DTI-CIG Undersecretary Rafaelita Aldaba, DOF Undersecretary Zeno Ronald Abenoja, DA Assistant Secretary Noel Padre, BSP Managing Director Benjamin Marcelo Thomas, members of the Diplomatic Corps, Chambers of Commerce, and partners from the private sector and the exporting community. ♦

Date of Release: 9 December 2022