The Department of Trade and Industry revealed the direction it is taking to boost export and for investments this year.
During a radio interview with DTI-Public Relations Director Thelma Dumpit Murillo, Undersecretary for Trade and Investment Promotion Cristino Panlilio said among this year’s plan is to revive the PhilTrade as a permanent venue for exporters to showcase their world-class products.
Panlilio said talks are currently underway between the DTI and the owners of the property, Social Security System (SSS) and Philippine National Bank (PNB). Once re-established, PhilTrade Center will be a permanent exhibition center open year-round for buyers of products such as garments, housewares, furniture, Christmas decors and others.
This will also serve as a venue for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to exhibit their goods, as well as to facilitate the buyers in finding local products.
Another strategy that is underway is the reorganization of the Foreign Trade Service Corps (FTSC), DTI’s trade and investments promotion arm abroad which will focus on specific markets by geographic location such as Europe, North America, India-Pakistan-Sri Lanka-Nepal market, and others, Panlilio said.
Each market will be served by a team of experts in the area of export, importation, investments, commercial intelligence and data gathering. This move, which will start this month, is expected to make the FTSC more efficient and deliver results.
DTI constantly hold talks with export groups to seek their suggestions on how the government can improve the department’s programs and services. Usec. Panlilio said one of the current initiatives of the department is the establishment of Shared Services Facilities in various regions in the country.
This project, which is under the Regional Operations Group headed by Usec. Merly Cruz, aims to provide MSMEs affordable means to package their products and eventually turn these enterprises into world-class exporters.
On investment promotions, Usec. Panlilio said that good governance under the Aquino administration is encouraging investors to put up their business in the Philippines.
One of DTI’s priority sectors is the revival of the garments industry. Director Murillo said that DTI is still hoping for the passage of the Save our Industries Act, which will provide preferential duty treatment to certain Philippine-made garments exported to U.S. She said that the garments sector is making a comeback as garments manufacturers from China are transferring their operations here.
The rise in the labor costs and the lack of skilled workers in China provide buyers an alternative investments destination for apparel makers. Its revival will mean creation of about 200,000 jobs and export receipts of $ 3 billion. Reden Miranda, DTI-PRO