MAKATI – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Kultura, the country’s largest retailer of homegrown products, signed an agreement on 24 March to open Go Lokal! stores in SM Makati.
DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, together with Industry Promotion Assistant Secretary Rosvi Gaetos and DTI 4-B Regional Director Joel Valera signed the agreement with Kultura represented by its Senior Vice-President for Operations Ivy Frances Yap and Merchandising Head Fatima Uy. This partnership allows Kultura to operate and manage Go Lokal! in order to provide greater market access to micro, small, and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs).
Go Lokal! is a design-led concept store and market platform showcasing modern and indigenous quality products crafted, designed, and created by innovative Philippine micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). It is mostly found in consumer-frequented locations as a mainstream distribution channel for world-class products while offering value for money to consumers. Go Lokal! is a public-private collaboration and serves as avenue for incubation, marketing, and branding for the best of Philippine MSME products including the next generation One Town One Product (OTOP) offerings.
“Kultura and Go Lokal! are complementary avenues to help our local MSMEs gain retail foothold in the Philippine domestic market. We are pleased to open a Go Lokal! together with Kultura as a testament of our collective thrust of inclusive growth and development of our MSMEs.” said Secretary Ramon Lopez.
The trade chief also said that aside from providing market access for MSME products, the Go Lokal! is a platform for new entrepreneurs to test the marketability of their products without fear of losing out on rental and commercial costs because their Go Lokal! experience is free-of-charge.
Kultura is the leading brand for uniquely Filipino products.
“Kultura has become a showcase of local artistry and craftsmanship and furthers its advocacy by partnering with the DTI for its Go Lokal Project, providing a venue for the distribution and promotion of products sourced from MSMEs,” said Ms. Ivy Yap.
Its Go Lokal pop-up store opens in April and will run throughout the year at the 2nd level of SM Makati.
DTI, SM’S KULTURA SIGN DEAL TO OPERATE GO LOKAL! Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Kultura, the country’s largest retailer of homegrown products, signed an agreement on 24 March in Makati to open Go Lokal! stores in SM Makati. Go Lokal! is a design-led concept store and market platform showcasing modern and indigenous quality products crafted, designed, and created by innovative Philippine micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), mostly found in consumer-frequented locations as a mainstream distribution channel for world-class products while offering value for money to consumers. A public-private collaboration, it serves as avenue for incubation, marketing, and branding for the best of Philippine MSME products including the next generation One Town One Product (OTOP) offerings. DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez (R), together with Assistant Secretary Rosvi Gaetos and DTI-4B Regional Director Joel Valera signed the agreement with Kultura represented by its Senior Vice-President for Operations Ivy Frances Yap (left) and Merchandising Head Fatima Uy. The trade chief said that aside from providing market access for MSME products, the Go Lokal! is a platform for new entrepreneurs to test the marketability of their products without fear of losing out on rental and commercial costs because their Go Lokal! experience is free-of-charge.
March 15, 2017, Tagbilaran City. As the world celebrates Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) 2017, so does the Department of Trade and Industry – Bohol Province.
Bannering the theme “Building a Digital World Consumers Can trust”, DTI Bohol conducted an ORIENTATION SEMINAR ON E-PRESYO AND NO SHORT CHANGING ACT to consumer groups and students from the Bohol Island State University, Holy Name University, University of Bohol and the Bohol Institute of Technology. The activity was held at DTI-Bohol Conference Room last March 15, 2017 from 1:30 up to 4:00 o’clock in the afternoon. The activity aimed to inform and empower consumers and that they be educated of their rights.
The “e-presyo” is an online price monitoring system where the public can readily access price monitoring and comparative price reports through the DTI website or through an application downloadable in smart phones.
On the other hand, RA 10909 or the No Shortchanging Act regulates shortchanging acts by business establishments and defines the rights of the consumers to demand exact change from them. The speakers of the activity were Miguel Abuyabor and Jose D. Hibaya of DTI-Bohol.
In the effort to solidify and operationalize the Strategic Cooperation Agreement signed during the visit of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to Beijing last October 2016, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), in partnership with the Bank of China (BOC), the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), and the International Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ICCP) organized the Philippines-China SME Cross-border Business Matching on 18 March at the Manila Hotel. DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez (right) and Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang (left), who was in the country for a 3-day official visit, graced the event to underscore both governments’ strong support for SME development initiatives and for the renewed commercial engagements between the two countries. The business matching sessions brought together more than 600 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from Philippines and China representing industries such as agriculture, fisheries, food processing, furniture, tourism, real estate, construction, construction equipment and building materials, iron and steel, e-commerce and information technology, textiles and garments.
Leaders strengthen food security and agricultural cooperation
MYANMAR—Following developments on the presidential visit to Myanmar, the recent meeting (20 March) among Myanmar President U Htin Kyaw, State Counsellor and Foreign Minister Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and President Rodrigo Duterte resulted to a substantial discussion on concrete ways to strengthen bilateral economic relations between the two countries, specifically on areas of trade and investment, agro-industry, food security and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
“The meeting between President Duterte and Myanmar’s top leaders touched on mutually-beneficial strategies to increase trade and investment, to develop MSMEs and to provide agri-technical assistance,” said Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez, who was part of the Philippine delegation, alongside Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, Acting Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo, Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Vicente Sotto III and other Philippine government officials.
Both countries expressed interest in furthering agricultural technology, which includes capacity-building measures, education cooperation and exchange of best practices through agricultural specialists and experts. Specifically, the meeting explored approaches to advance efficient production of hybrid rice and piña fiber clothing.
“By and large, there was heightened interest to increase investment in Philippine agriculture and food processing. All these initiatives will be under a Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation,” Sec. Lopez added.
Meanwhile, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on food security and agricultural cooperation between the Philippines and Myanmar was signed between the Philippines and Myanmar.
Said MOU aims at making food accessible and affordable, including through promotion of joint development ventures, conduct of research and development (R&D) transfer or technology transfer, sourcing of raw materials for value adding and conduct of training and capacity-building both in technological and managerial levels.
The MOU likewise indicates that Myanmar is welcome to study Philippine agriculture, according to the trade chief.
“Of course, as chair of ASEAN, the Philippines consistently sought Myanmar’s support for the region’s deliverables this year, touching on increasing trade and investment, integrating MSMEs into the global value chain and promoting an innovation-driven economy,” he concluded.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs’ Network (AWEN) highlighted the impact of encouraging more women in the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics at the S.T.E.A.M. Ahead in ASEAN: A Forum on Women and Technology held in Pasay City.
“Women with STEM jobs earned 33% more than women in non-STEM jobs. As a result, the gender wage gap is smaller in STEM jobs than in non-STEM jobs,” explained Undersecretary for Industry Promotion Group Nora K. Terrado
According to a study published by the ASEAN Secretariat in 2016, gender inequality remains a challenge in the region, particularly in the areas of education, labor force participation, and trade-oriented activities, among others.
“As technology further allows women to work while they remain to be the light of their homes for their families, the more we need to urge young girls of today to seek the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics,” emphasized DTI Undersecretary Terrado.
Moreover, Undersecretary Terrado mentioned the importance of the arts in enhancing the creative and innovative capacity of women in the said fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
In the World Economic Forum Gender Gap Report in 2016, the Philippines led other ASEAN member states in promoting gender equality in economy, education, health, and politics, where the country ranked seventh among 144 countries surveyed. Other ASEAN member states ranked as follows: Lao PDR, 43rd; Singapore, 55th; Vietnam, 65th; Thailand, 71st; Indonesia, 88th; Brunei Darussalam, 103rd; Malaysia, 106th; and Cambodia, 112th.
The said forum convened about 200 various stakeholders in the technology industry, delegates from other ASEAN member states, and the private sector. The sessions and talks focused on the understanding of the roles of and opportunities for women in the innovation economy.
In August this year, the Philippines, through its ASEAN Business and Investment Program (ABIP), will hold the ASEAN Women Business Conference which aims to gather women in the region to discuss topics including women economic participation and trade activities.
Providing more opportunities for women in the ASEAN region is among the integral principles in the building process of the ASEAN community.
Representatives from ASEAN member states strike a pose with DTI Undersecretary for Industry Promotion Group Nora K. Terrado (seated, 4th from left) and ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs’ Network (AWEN) Chair Pacita “Chit” Juan (seated, 3rd from left) during the AWEN meet with the press event held in Pasay.
Investments among the 10 member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is expected to significantly increase, and linkage among ASEAN micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) with ASEAN and global multinational enterprises (MNEs) to further strengthen, as the regional bloc’s Coordinating Committee on Investments (CCI) in its 69th Meeting in Manila recently agreed to push the Focused and Strategic Action (FAST) Action Agenda on Investment as among the Committee’s priority deliverables for the year.
Aligned with the four pillars of the ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Agreement (ACIA) namely investment promotion, facilitation, protection, and liberalization, the FAST Action Agenda is composed of four key deliverables.
The CCI is ASEAN’s technical body tasked to oversee the implementation of the ACIA since its effectivity in 2012. ACIA serves as the regional bloc’s instrument in support of the ASEAN Economic Community’s goal of free flow of investments in the context of an integrated ASEAN community. The Philippine Board of Investments (BOI), being the country’s lead for CCI, serves as host for the 69th CCI Meeting.
The first action agenda is focused on ASEAN-wide assessment of the outstanding issues on Trade Related Investment Measures (TRIMS) where the key deliverable for the year is a document identifying the TRIMS plus elements that ASEAN may commit and adopt as a common ASEAN’s negotiating strategy.
The second action agenda is focused on linking MSMEs with MNEs where the key outcome are possible letter of intents (LOIs) and business collaboration between ASEAN MSMEs and MNEs. For this year, the Philippine will host the outbound mission from ASEAN where a conference and business meetings will be undertaken.
“Our goal is to showcase MSMEs as possible suppliers of products and services to MNEs. As we encourage them to strategically enhance their productivity, we will open up more opportunities for them to participate in the regional and global value chains,” said BOI Executive Director Ma. Corazon Halili-Dichosa, who also served as the Philippine Head of Delegation to the CCI.
During the meeting, it was discussed that Philippines will host a conference where MSMEs and MNEs from all over the region will participate which includes business matching, wherein possible linkages and agreements may be forged. As part of the preparation for the event, ASEAN Members States (AMS), have agreed in the 69th CCI Meeting to identify possible MNE participants to facilitate the identification of focused sectors and MSMEs who will participate in the business matching activity.
MSMEs are considered one the key drivers of economic growth across many regions of the global economy, including ASEAN. These firms account for 95 to 99 percent of all business establishments and are responsible for 51 to 97 percent of employment among AMS. In terms of GDP share, MSMEs account between 23 to 58 percent of any AMS economy. With the significant contribution of these firms on income and employment generation, CCI considers MSMEs as the backbone of the ASEAN economy.
The third action agenda is focused on the assessment on the establishment of an ASEAN Investment Tribunal.CCI has recognized the need to do the said assessment given the numerous investment agreements that ASEAN had entered into and the need to have consistency and predictability in the interpretation of ASEAN investment agreements.
Finally, the fourth action agenda is focused on an in-depth assessment of the business registration requirements among ASEAN in support of the investment facilitation goal of ACIA.
“Ease of doing business through facilitation of business registration in any AMS will significantly contribute in making the region a more attractive investment destination. An in-depth assessment of the business registration requirements of AMS will support and contribute to ACIA’s key objectives of increasing intra-ASEAN investments,” said Executive Director Dichosa.
Intra-ASEAN investments continue to significantly contribute to the investment inflows in ASEAN. In 2015, intra-ASEAN investments’ share to total investment inflows rose to 18.5% from 17% in 2014. Intra-ASEAN investment reached US$22.2 billion in 2015.
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