In this year’s National Exporters Week, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Export Development Council (EDC), and Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT) will focus on the theme of developing and fortifying the presence of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in global value chains.

“Amid globalization and full integration of the ASEAN economies next year, we have been vigorously supporting the improvement of the capabilities of our SMEs so they can increase their participation in global trade,” DTI Secretary Gregory L. Domingo said.

Domingo added that the DTI has been working on measures to remove trade barriers for SMEs in marketing their products to foreign markets, and in the long run, make them expand and strengthen their integration in global value chains along with multinational corporations.

“We are advocating for simplified rules for SMEs to easily participate in regional or global trade and benefit from trade agreements that the Philippines entered into,” Domingo said.

On the marketing end, DTI Undersecretary for Industry Promotions Ponciano C. Manalo, Jr. said that the DTI provides support and promotion programs for SMEs in line with industry roadmaps currently developed by the private sector with the support of the government.

“We have also been persistent in encouraging SMEs to produce products with high design content coupled with high production quality,” Manalo said.

Manalo added that this year, the DTI continued to provide marketing support as well as product development and design through the Bureau of Domestic Trade Promotion (BDTP), Export Trade Promotion (EMB), Foreign Trade Service Corps (FTSC), Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) and Design Center of the Philippines (DCP); implement programs such as the Shared Service Facility (SSF), Regional Interactive Platform for Philippine Exporters (RIPPLES), and Doing Business in Free Trade Areas (DBFTA); provide access to financing through the Small Business Corporation (SB Corp) and Philippine Export-Import Credit Agency (PhilExim); and advocate for improved market access through bilateral Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), among others.

“As DTI addresses supply chain gaps and programs to improve productivity and competitiveness, we encourage SMEs to innovate, diversify, and upgrade through advancements in technology, skills, and research and development,” Manalo said.

Manalo noted that with these endeavours, the country fortifies its position as a viable source of innovative and quality products, and facilitates the integration of its SME in the global value chains. (END)