29 December 2018

Puiblished also in Business Mirror

EXPORTERS are encouraged anew to innovate to achieve the country’s exports target of $122 billion to $130 billion by the year 2022.

“We need to innovate. And innovation does not necessary mean a great invention. It’s really improving on systems, on organizations, the way we market our product and so on,” Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB) Director Senen M. Perlada said.

Perlada cited the implementation particularly of a third strategy under the Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) 2018-2022 stipulating the need to design comprehensive packages to promote select products and service sectors.

He said the DTI has identified priority areas for both the domestic and export markets, including electronics, information technology-business process management, innovation, and research and development activities, auto and auto parts, chemical parts components, and inclusive business activities, among others.

Perlada also noted the department’s Inclusive Innovation Industrial Strategy (i3S), an industrial policy that aims to grow and develop globally competitive and innovative industries with strong forward and backward linkages.

“This Inclusive Innovation Industrial Strategy or i3S is the way for us to do the structural change to make our export strong because the lack of supply is what’s really bothering us. And in particular, we have to address the supply that is coming particularly from the agriculture sector,” he said.

i3S focuses on three major areas, namely: creation of an innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem, removal of obstacles to growth to build industry clusters, and strengthening domestic supply and value chains to deepen the country’s participation in global and regional value chains and networks.

“Where are we now in terms of the actual figure that we have? Goods under BPM6 [Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual] are still down by only negative 1.7 percent, services are still up 13 percent, for the total therefore we are still growing by 4 percent,” he added.

To achieve the country’s exports goal, Perlada also underscored the need to “stimulate” the exporting community. “And this is one great way of doing it—we need to permeate, we have to share with each other what we know. If you knew what we know and we know what you knew, then we could move forward a lot of these things,” he said.

Meanwhile, the first strategy identified under the PEDP is to improve the overall climate for export development through removing regulatory impediments, enhancing trade facilitation, and fostering forward and backward linkages. Second is to exploit existing and prospective opportunities from trading arrangements.