With its pursuit to advance the betterment of micro, small and medium enterprises, the Philippines celebrates today the International MSME day in support of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly resolution recognizing the crucial role MSMEs play in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, particularly in promoting innovation, creativity, and decent work.

“MSMEs represent around 90% of global economic activity. They are on the front lines of embracing transformative technologies and new business models. By leveraging their ingenuity and creativity to harness new market opportunities, they can lead the way towards achieving the 2030 Agenda.” UN Secretary-Genetral António Guterres said.

DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez with the SMED Council
Secretary Ramon Lopez with other members of the MSMED Council.

In April 2017, the UN General Assembly, co-sponsored by 54 Member States including the Philippines, adopted a resolution recognizing the importance of MSMEs in achieving sustainable development goals, which hereby designates June 27 as MSMEs’ Day.

Philippine MSMEs which account for 99.5% of the total number of established businesses and employ 62.8% of the workforce, contribute substantially to the country’s manufacturing output and total employment. MSMEs therefore are critical engines of economic growth and development.

On the other hand, the Philippines’ MSME Development (MSMED) Council also issued MSMEDC Resolution No. 03 Series of 2017 “supporting the United Nations Resolution Designating June 27 of Each Year as Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises’ Day” to give recognition and importance to MSMEs as cornerstone of economic growth and development.

The MSMED Council, where Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez sits as Chairman, is the primary agency responsible for the promotion, growth and development of MSMEs in the country by way of facilitating and closely coordinating national efforts to promote their viability and growth.

The MSMEDC Resolution also highlights the commitment of the government to foster MSME policies and initiatives that lead to inclusive growth.

The MSMED Council also enjoins all government agencies including non-governmental organizations (NGOs), academe, and other MSME stakeholders to undertake activities in commemoration of the MSMEs’ Day.

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary for Regional Operations Group Zenaida Maglaya acknowledged the role played by MSMEs in lifting the country’s economy and vowed to promote further MSMEs, and provide programs that will help small and medium entrepreneurs.

“MSMEs are the backbone of the country’s economy and it provides Filipinos employment. With this, we need to deliver programs that will promote them as we encourage more Filipinos to engage in entrepreneurship,” Maglaya explained.

The International MSMEs day resolution states that it “recognizes the importance of encouraging the formalization, participation and growth of MSMEs in international, regional, and national markets, including through access for all to capacity building and financial services such as affordable microfinance and credit.”

The resolution adds, “further the need for sustainable business practices and the importance of principles for responsible business and investing.”

Other countries co-sponsoring the resolution are Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, Ethiopia, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, Niger, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Samoa, Singapore, Slovenia, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, and Vietnam.