From L to R: Karl Pacolor, Chief Trade Industry Development Specialist, DTI; Derrick Tan, Lead Research Associate, DTI; Fook Yen Chong, Principal Social Sector Specialist, Asian Development Bank; Andrea Phua, Senior Director, National AI Group, Ministry of Communications and Information; DTI Secretary Fred Pascual; DTI Undersecretary Rafaelita Aldaba; Albertson Amante, Vice-President, Batangas State University; Miguel Remolona, Assistant Professor, University of the Philippines Diliman; Commercial Counsellor Carla Grepo, PTIC-Singapore; and, Samuel Ang, Consultant, Asian Development Bank

Singapore––As part of the country’s Industry 4.0 Mission on June 7, 2024, the Philippine delegation, together with Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual, explored potential collaboration opportunities with Singapore’s Smart Nation Group. During the visit, they discussed areas of technology and innovation, focusing on artificial intelligence (AI) and its application across various sectors.

“The Philippines is committed to closely partnering with regional and global leaders in AI to ensure that our nation remains at the forefront of technological innovation. By collaborating with international experts and institutions, like Singapore’s Smart Nation Group, we aim to harness the transformative power of AI to drive economic growth, enhance public services, and position the Philippines as a globally competitive leader in the AI space,” said Secretary Pascual.

The Smart Nation Group is part of Singapore’s Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and is administered by the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI). It guides Singapore’s digital transformation and leads the development of its Smart Nation strategies.

In photo: DTI Secretary Fred Pascual and the Philippine delegation during their meeting with the Ministry of Communications and Information of Singapore

During the visit, Secretary Pascual engaged with Senior Director Andrea Phua of the Ministry of Communications and Information’s National AI Group to discuss valuable insights on emerging AI trends and strategies to foster a robust AI ecosystem in both nations.

The visit is part of the Department’s agile approach in building the AI ecosystem in the Philippines. It positions the country as a regional center of excellence in AI innovation, under the National AI Strategy Roadmap launched in 2021.

Moreover, the visit presented a relevant opportunity for the DTI to meet with international collaborators, aligning with the Department’s goal to launch the official start of operations of the country’s Center for AI Research (CAIR) next month.

CAIR is a hub that will perform collaborative AI R&D and technology applications among government agencies, researchers, universities, research institutes, startups, small and medium enterprises, and multinational companies. It will also offer consultancy services and AI tech products to support the digital transformation of local industries, generate investments, and create employment. ♦

Date of release: 08 June 2024