2016: A year of strengthening partnerships and promoting trade and investments
Business Mirror
January 24, 2017

WITH the Asean theme for 2017 “Partnership for Change, Engaging the World,” PTIC-Jakarta’s engagements in 2016 will continue to pave the way for strengthening the Philippines’s presence in Asean and taking advantage of the Asean Economic Community.

Promoting education

ACCORDING to a report by Dr. Christopher Stevens commissioned by various stakeholders to initially map out the country’s education service sector export road map, the Philippines could generate an annual revenue target of $1 billion by pushing for the promotion of Philippine education services globally.

The Philippines is considered an excellent choice, with its affordable tuition and cost of living, cultural similarities and high-quality education with English as its primary medium of instruction. It also provides a multicultural learning atmosphere combined with fun and an enjoyable stay in the country.

Taking advantage of this opportunity, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) participated for the first time in the biggest education expo in Jakarta, the World Education Expo Indonesia, to further promote the country’s premier education services.

Globalizing retail brands

INDONESIA presents huge opportunities for Philippine franchise businesses. According to the Indonesian Franchise Association, there are about 400 overseas franchises in Indonesia, comprising 70 percent of the nation’s total franchise revenues of Rp120 trillion in 2011. Indonesia’s franchise sector recorded a 21.6-percent growth in 2011.

Food and Beverages is the most popular and has the greatest potential. According to the Indonesia Franchising and Licensing Society, the food- and-beverage sector had always been dominant in the franchise business, accounting for more than 35 percent of the total market.

Other high-potential sectors include education products and services (education franchises for kids, manpower training, and short-term courses on travel and hospitality), bakery and retail brands related to apparel or garments.

In recent years the Philippines had some success with the launch of our Filipino fashion retail brands Karimadon and Rusty Lopez, after the Center for International Trade and Expositions and Missions (Citem) embarked on a Philippines in Brands Motion Project in 2014, in partnership with the Philippine Franchise Association, Philippine Retailers Association, and our trade office. Since then, eight Karimadon outlets and nine Rusty Lopez outlets have opened with more stores and more brands in the works.

Citem said many brands from the Philippines are starting to venture overseas and our top brands will help in building a strong image and develop international awareness of the capability of Philippine manufacturers in producing products and brands on a par with global standards.

Enhancing connectivity

THE Davao/General Santos-Bitung (D/GB) route has been selected as one of the three pilot areas for roll-on, roll-off (Roro) operation under Jica’s Feasibility Study on the Establishment of the Asean Roro network as set out under the Master Plan on Asean Connectivity.

Since then, all the stakeholders have been working hard for the opening of the D/GB Roro route, which is set for launching in April 2017, in time for the Asean Summit in the Philippines.

The D/GB Roro route is expected to boost trade, investments and tourism between the Philippines and Indonesia and the entire Brunie Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines-East Asean Growth Area, as it will facilitate a faster and cheaper way of transporting goods from Mindanao to Sulawesi region and vice versa.

Moving forward in 2017

AS we welcome 2017, there is much work to be done. With the continued collaboration of the entire DTI team and our various stakeholders—government agencies, industry players, small and medium enterprises, overseas Filipino workers and investors, we look forward to a successful new year as the Philippines takes on the Asean chairmanship.