MANILA – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) together with the Small and Medium Enterprise Administration (SMEA) of Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) and Corporate Synergy Development Center (CSD) organized last Friday an exchange learning seminar on One Town One Product with the theme “Championing OTOPreneurs for Innovation-led Inclusive Growth.”

High-ranking officials from Taiwan in charge of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) development shared the decade’s journey of OTOP in Taiwan. Deputy Director-General Wen Ling-Su shared the policy framework in Taiwan and explained how both culture and innovation play a pivotal role in developing a locality’s OTOP.

Molly Lin, the Assistant Vice-President of Taiwan’s Corporate Synergy Development Center also stressed the importance of the familiarity of local designers with their local culture and heritage in order to pin down a locality’s cultural and branding identity. “Local designers should know the ins and outs of their local culture and this should translate in the designs of their products. We cannot dictate how a local design should be. That should come from the locals and their familiarity with the cultural terrain.”

The event was attended by OTOPreneurs – entrepreneurs producing and selling OTOP products, DTI’s regional and provincial directors, trade and promotions officers, other bureaus, representatives from the academe, young entrepreneurs, and other government agencies.

Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya of the Regional Operations Group of DTI welcomed the participants and stressed the continued viability of OTOP as an MSME development program. Undersecretary Nora Terrado of the Trade and Investment Promotion Group also emphasized the importance of leveling up the country’s local products in order to compete in the international market.

DTI OTOP in-charge Assistant Secretary Demphna Du-Naga shared the policy and development framework for OTOP implementation in the Philippines “Having been a former local chief executive and businesswoman myself, I appreciate the importance of OTOP as an integral part of local economic development and in driving enterprise to steer inclusive growth in our communities”

One Town, One Product is the country’s stimulus program for MSME that allows localities and communities to determine, develop, market and support their priority local products rooted on cultural value and competitive advantage. This provides an ecosystem of assistance and interventions customized by various government agencies, local governments and the private sector. This year, OTOP endeavors to level up the product offerings in OTOP. The current OTOP offerings from various regions were also showcased in an exhibit during the seminar.

The seminar was organized in time for Taiwan Week that had its exposition at the Mall of Asia SMX Convention Center. Assistant Secretary Du-Naga and OTOP Program Manager Leon Flores III took the time to visit the OTOP pavilion at the Taiwan Week expo. Information and concerns about the Philippine implementation of OTOP may be raised by emailing

 OTOP Taiwan PHL

Photo opportunity between Leon Flores III, Michael Alfred Ignacio, Regional Director Nonoy Blanco, Asec. Demphna Du-Naga, Usec. Zenaida Maglaya, Deputy Director General Wen-Ling Su, Assistant Vice President Molly Lin, Manager of Sugar and Spice Elaine Chang, Owner of House of Pili Ma. Lydia Lomibao and Regional Director Ruben Diciano (from left to right)