Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Adrian S. Cristobal Jr. urged government agencies to work together and collectively achieve the country’s export goals. “We are at a strategic turning point in the country’s economic performance. The Philippine economy has never been in such a good shape for a long time. We can, as one government, harness the growth that we have been experiencing in the past six years, increase our exports, and meet the challenges and opportunities of the world market,” he said.

The DTI is the lead agency in charge of the implementation of the Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) 2015-2017. PEDP, which aims to grow the country’s exports by as much as 8 to 9%, is to support trade, growth, and innovation that would enable domestic industries to establish their niches in regional and global markets.

Cristobal, who chairs the Export Development Council (EDC), said that the Philippine government and the private sector continue to work together to create an enabling business environment and to enhance regional competitiveness. “We have to move in concert to achieve our export goals. Harmonized policies among government agencies and efficient plans of action in consultation with our stakeholders are key factors for success,” he said.

Government agencies are expected to present their inventories of policies and plan of action next month (April), within sixty (60) days from the issuance of the memorandum circular approving PEDP last February 4.

DTI Industry Promotion Group (IPG) Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado will also be conducting briefings on PEDP in key export areas of the country. “In the DTI’s tradition of stakeholder consultation for policy formulation, we conduct regional briefings to surface and address exporters’ concerns. Our goal is to be able to align appropriate programs that will enhance the capacity of exports producers in different localities,” she said.

The first of the PEDP regional briefings was held last March 16 for the National Capital Region (NCR) and Region 4. Other briefings are scheduled in Davao (Region 11) on March 29, Cebu (Region 7) on March 30 and Clark, Pampanga (Region 3) on April 5.

DTI, lead agency of the EDC, conducts regular meetings to periodically review and assess the country’s export performance, problems and prospects. It is also mandated to do biannual validation and updating of the PEDP.

The DTI will work closely with the Departments of Agriculture, Energy, Environment and Natural Resources, Finance, Foreign Affairs, Health, Interior and Local Government, Labor and Employment, Public Works and Highways, Science and Technology, Transportation and Communication, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the National Economic Development Authority.

PEDP Mr. Sergio R. Ortiz-Luis Jr., of the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc, DTI Secretary Adrian S. Cristobal Jr., DTI Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado and Export Marketing Bureau Director Senen M. Perlada during the first Export Development Council meeting for 2016 last January 28 at the Board of Investments Building, Makati City.