Susette Manrique | Export Assistance and Business Matching Division (EABMD) | DTI-EMB  

The global market is a highly competitive arena. Global players are constantly filling the international marketplace with numerous products and services which are all competing for the buyers’ attention. 

In this competitive context, exporting plays a vital role in international trade as it affects the economies of the global players. The increased demand for a country’s products and services in the global market will lead to a better economic performance. Additionally, when a country’s exports outweigh its imports, it will create a positive effect on the country’s total economic growth. 

Exporting refers to the process by which a local company sends goods or services to another country for sale or trade.  Local companies which can create inroads into the international arena are able to increase their respective company’s sources of revenues. Likewise, they can improve their overall global competitiveness by showcasing their enhanced products and services offerings.   

As such, they are adept at achieving economies of scale and they can maximize their existing supply capacity. Exporting could translate to the expansion of labor market opportunities as the increase in export sales could result in an increased need for additional manpower. It also creates a competitive mindset among exporting firms as they aim towards being more compliant with international standards and preferences which could be their stronghold towards increasing global competitiveness. 

The Philippine government values the important role of the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in attaining the country’s export targets.  Since MSMEs comprise 99.5% of Philippine businesses, they play a vital role in improving our country’s competitive advantages.  As such, their business growth through exporting can contribute towards ensuring the sustainable growth of our country.  

In line with this, it is necessary for MSMEs to aim towards maximizing the opportunities offered in the global market through exporting.  Hence, they must reassess their capacity vis-à-vis exporting to the global marketplace.  In other words, they must first assess their Export Readiness before exporting.  

This assessment should take into consideration whether they have already put in place the following basic requirements:  

  • All the required business registrations and permits needed to operate
  • New/updated export license or permit
  • Required local product compliances to produce and distribute [i.e. Certificate of Product Registration (CPR), Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP), etc.]
  • Compliance with processes, standards, and certifications needed for the target export country 
  • Capacity to produce possible export orders; ability to secure enough raw materials to make the final exported product/s; adequate knowledge and capacity in modifying product packaging and ingredients to meet foreign import regulations (i.e., labeling) and cultural preferences
  • Awareness on different funding and payment options for export (i.e., telegraphic transfer, letter of credit, etc.)
  • Financial resources to actively support the marketing of their products in the targeted overseas markets
  • Healthy financial position to cover risks and uncertainties
  • Knowledge, support, or manpower to process orders once there is an order 
  • Willingness to dedicate staff, time, and resources to process orders and to provide support to customers
  • Compliance with local and international legal requirements; ensuring that their company’s Intellectual Properties are protected 
  • Having a plan and budget for legal mitigation for possible export-related transaction disputes 
  • Protection in various export sales contracts and agreement terms.

Additionally, what is crucial is the company’s capacity to offer products or services that could be successfully marketed in the global arena.

The Philippine government has mandated different agencies to implement programs that assist MSMEs with their exporting needs. These include initiatives which are focused on providing export assistance, business matching, accreditation, product development, and other export marketing services. These government agencies collaborate with each other in providing the best export-related services to MSMEs.

The Philippine government has valuable resources that could aid existing and would-be exporters in worry-free exporting. These resources are multi-faceted as there are offline and online resources that interested parties may access. For instance, the Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB) has published the new and revised Philippine Export Guidebook (PEG) to help exporters navigate in their journey to exporting.

The guidebook is a user-friendly tool which serves as an anchor for helping MSMEs become globally competitive through exporting. It was designed with the MSMEs as the focal target for knowledge sharing on practical and straightforward insights about the export processes in the Philippines.

The PEG outlines the different processes that an exporter must go through, the documentation and costs involved in a particular process, and the agencies that must be contacted for each process. Through this knowledge-sharing platform, the DTI-EMB, together with various government agencies, aims to make exporting easier for aspiring and existing exporters. The PEG can be downloaded in the Tradeline Philippines portal of the DTI-EMB — — under the Resources section of the said platform. 

Philippine MSMEs have to be proactive in creating inroads into new global markets.  Once they have the exporting basics in place, they should opt towards creating a “positive corporate branding” strategy for their firm.  This is the export branding strategy that is used to highlight a company’s competitive edge in the local and global marketplace. This strategy is aimed at increasing the awareness of a company and its offerings. It is used to establish favorable reactions towards the company as a whole. The corporate brand of a specific firm is the totality of that company and its business. 

Philippine MSMEs have the support of the various government agencies involved in exporting. As such, the vision of creating an “Exporting Nation” could truly be realized through the strong partnership between the public and private sectors. Through this partnership, the Philippine government and MSMEs could maximize opportunities offered by the international market by going from “local to global”.

For export concerns, exporters may contact DTI-EMB thru: