Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez urged top manufacturing company First Philec to include in its objective different ways to help the country’s marginalized sectors, as well as the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

Speaking at the inauguration of the First Philec Factory at the First Philippine Industrial Park in Batangas, Sec. Lopez said that the company’s thrust towards nation-building complements DTI’s objective in promoting entrepreneurship, as well as in encouraging business excellence among industry stakeholders by infusing the core values of innovation, inclusivity, integrity and nationalism.

“I encourage your company to think of products that will help the marginalized and the poor, including the MSMEs. I believe that empowering the MSME sector is like empowering the nation,” said Sec. Lopez.

The trade chief also said that DTI is committed to advance competitive, job-generating and inclusive industries, where the Philippines has comparative advantage and should be known for.

“Let us find the most efficient, innovative ways to create products made from the Philippines and for the Filipinos—later on—for the world,” he said. As chair of ASEAN 2017 Economic Ministers, Lopez is pushing for the conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement.

Concluding RCEP will link ASEAN, an economic powerhouse with a market of 600 million people including the Philippines, to its six Dialogue Partners, creating an even bigger market of 3.5 billion people. With strategic opportunities, the Philippines can be the investors’ gateway to ASEAN, according to Sec. Lopez.

The trade chief also said that today is the perfect timing for companies to invest more in the country “as the economy is experiencing a breakout,” citing sound macro-economic fundamentals, strong investors’ confidence and good governance, with lowered unemployment rate and a relatively young, character-driven and qualified work force.

First Philec, currently the largest manufacturer of transformers in Southeast Asia, vows to significantly reduce line and systems losses through its so-called amorphous transformers, which are high-performance transformer units shown to DTI officials in a site visit on the same day.

The company hoped to minimize the power industry’s impact on the environment, as it mitigates the effects of the twin forces of global warming and exponential technology.

“Innovation is not just about using technology; but on how to better serve the needs of the market in ways they (people) have yet to imagine,” said First Philec chairman and CEO Federico Lopez.