As APEC 2015 host economy, the Philippines steered discussions towards initiatives focused on the greening of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) during the “Dialogue on APEC Cooperation Network on Green Supply Chain” held recently in Boracay.
During this dialogue, APEC member economies discussed best practices in managing green supply chains and the development of a work plan to create an APEC Cooperation Network on Green Supply Chain. It was followed by a public-private dialogue among representatives from the trade and environment sector, private sector, and research institutions.
“Over the recent years, Philippine development programs converge on mainstreaming MSMEs into domestic and regional trade. APEC 2015 is a valuable venue where the Philippines can highlight the value of MSMEs in the pursuit of inclusive growth and move forward our advocacy for initiatives to further enable MSMEs,” DTI Undersecretary Adrian S. Cristobal Jr. explained.
“This dialogue served as an opportunity for us to talk about the Industry Roadmap Project of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) - Board of Investments (BOI) which takes into account the pursuit of green growth in terms of green processes and the manufacturing of green products. Providing the platform for this is the ongoing development of the ‘Greening the Industry Roadmap Project’,” DTI Assistant Secretary Rafaelita M. Aldaba said.
Aldaba added that this project aims to identify policies that would enable industries to improve their competitiveness and increase their chances of participating in supply chains through cleaner production processes; the efficient use of materials, water, and power; reducing the impact on the environment; and, compliance with global health and environment standards. These interventions will be integrated into the roadmaps of the automotive manufacturing and auto parts sector; pulp and paper; plastic; mass housing; and, the copper and furniture sectors.
Aside from greening the industry roadmaps, the DTI's initiatives focus as well on supporting local communities in the rural areas. MSMEs in Misamis Oriental recently underwent training for capacity building in the production of engineered bamboo products and information sessions on the bamboo industry value chain.
MSMEs are estimated to account for 97 percent of all registered businesses in the country, employ about 60% of the workforce, and contribute to about a third of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“MSMEs are vulnerable to price fluctuations and climate change. Considering their limited resources, we need to assist them to improve their chances of sustainability and further increase their productivity and competitiveness,” Undersecretary Cristobal stated.
Cristobal added that “putting the interests of MSMEs is on top of our economic priorities and one way of doing this is greening the country’s MSMEs to improve efficiency in the use of our natural resources. Developing them into dynamic and global ones ensures their continuing contribution to the growth of our economy.”
The common goal for APEC 2015 is the widening and deepening of MSME participation in trade. Initiatives include more actions that will further advance their internationalization as well as utilizing a set of indicators to track the progress of their direct and indirect contributions to trade. (END)