His Excellency, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.; esteemed members of the diplomatic corps; valued government and business partners; distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen—good morning. 

As the Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry and the Chair of the Export Development Council, it brings me immense joy to welcome you to the International Trade Forum today.  

We find ourselves standing on the cusp of two historic milestones: the unveiling of the Philippine Export Development Plan 2023-2028 (or PEDP) and the advocacy campaign kickoff in the Philippines for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (or RCEP). These two strategic pillars will be instrumental in bringing our theme of ‘Empowering Philippine Industries’ to life by showing how we can tap the global export markets and investment opportunities. Just to emphasize, RCEP utilization is an essential component in the successful implementation of the PEDP.  

To unleash the vast export potential of the Philippines, we need to chart a course that includes:  

  1. We need to cultivate an environment that fosters business growth and enables our producers to increase their output of quality products and services. 
  2. We need to empower our industries not just to survive but flourish in a dynamic global landscape.  
  3. We need to leverage the full spectrum of our preferential trade arrangements like the RCEP and our other FTAs. 
  4. We need to project the visibility of our products and services on the international stage. 
  5. perhaps most critically, we need to attract investments both domestic and foreign to 
  6. enhance, expand, and diversify our production capabilities to meet the discerning needs of foreign markets and evolving global supply chains. 

To underscore the significance of our Export Development Plan, we are privileged to present to the President the statement of Commitment to Implement the PEDP, which has been signed by the members of the Export Development council consisting of government agencies and private sector partners.   

Today also marks the induction of leaders from three private sector institutions, whose pivotal roles are crucial in translating the government’s vision for our country into reality. 

In closing, let me sincerely thank all our public and private stakeholders who have made this event possible. A special thanks to our President, whose presence today shine a spotlight on the promising future of Philippine exports. 

As we march forward with you, our key partners, let us collectively transform the Philippines into a dynamic and agile export powerhouse. 

Thank you, once again, for standing with us today. *

Date of release: 15 June 2023