“Establishing favorable conditions to realize the full economic potential of the bamboo industry will help businesses, particularly micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMES), meet the continuous and growing global demand for bamboo products,” said Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Adrian S. Cristobal Jr.

At the recent launching of the bamboo showcase project of the Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Council in Pasay City, Cristobal said that the Philippines has made significant contributions in generating foreign exchange, rural employment, and revenue from the sale of bamboo and its by-products in both domestic and foreign markets.

In 2015, the global market for bamboo rose to US$17 billion from US$7 billion in 2009 based on figures from the Philippine Bamboo Industry Cluster Report. Of this growing market, the Philippines generated P306.3 million in investments, P261.8 million worth of sales, and created 13,103 jobs from 2012-2014. The country was ranked as the 5th largest bamboo exporter in the world in 2010.

“To fully harness bamboo’s immense potential, we need to address the binding constraints to the (bamboo) industry’s growth and development,” he added.

The main challenges faced by MSMEs in the bamboo industry identified in the Bamboo Industry roadmap include the costly permits and certificates to move raw materials from plants to processing plans, lack of appropriate technology, and insufficient technical capacity and capability of its industry players such as nurseries, planters, manufacturers, furniture makers, and bamboo sculptors to successfully participate and thrive in the global market.

In the past years, the DTI has been providing MSMEs across the country access to better technology and more sophisticated equipment through shared services facility (SSF) that could boost productivity and improve efficiency. The SSF program addresses both the gaps and bottle necks in the value chain of priorityindustry clusters, while increasing agriculture and rural based MSMEs’ reach and profit.

“By building their capacities, developing their skills, and globalizing their outlook, we will help our bamboo industry emerge as a major source of revenue and gainful employment,” Cristobal explained.

In the Philippines, one of the main challenges in developing the Bamboo Industry is the lack of land planted with it. There are about 8,500 hectares devoted to Bamboo cultivation, with four economically viable species – the Kawayan Tinik, Giant Bamboo, Buho, and Bolo. According to the DTI, while 8,500 hectares is a significant number, the huge demand for bamboo requires more coverage. The Bamboo industry could also use incentives and develop and exhaustive data base of the industry to encourage more investors in plantation development and processing plants.

“With stronger convergence programs as well as partnerships between the government and other stakeholders, policies supporting the Bamboo Industry can be formulated and implemented,” he said. The DTI and the Board of Investments (BOI) launched the Industry Roadmap Project in 2012 to map out the directions, goals and strategies for industries as well as interventions required from the government and private sector to facilitate the growth and enhance the competitiveness of industries. (END)

DTI_MSME_to_advance_Bamboo_industryAt the launching of the Bamboo Showcase of the Philippine Bamboo Industry Council, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Adrian S. Cristobal Jr. said that the bamboo’s potential can be fully harnessed through continued collaboration between government and the private sector in addressing the binding constraints to the industry’s growth and development.