Manila – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese Premiere Li Keqiang witnessed (15 November 2017) the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) of the Philippines (PH) and the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) of the People’s Republic of China (PROC) during the sidelines of the visit of the Chinese Head of Government to the Philippines.
DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez and MOFCOM Vice-Minister Fu Ziying signed the MOU on joint cooperation on Industrial Parks Development, which would expand opportunities for bilateral trade and economic cooperation.
“The MOU sets the tone in creating a program that will facilitate a seamless investment guide for Chinese investors in PH industrial parks,” said Sec. Lopez.
Sec. Lopez further shared that the MOU provides provisions on undertaking business matching activities to facilitate possible partnership and collaboration between PH and PROC enterprises.
“This joint cooperation will strengthen economic ties between the two countries by enhancing the Philippines’ manufacturing competence and diversifying China’s investments in the Philippines,” said the trade chief.
Chinese investors have earlier visited possible locations in Luzon and Mindanao for industrial park development, as a response to earlier commitments of China to President Duterte to expand opportunities in the Philippines.
Meanwhile, the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) of the Philippines and the State Intellectual Property on Cooperation of China also signed a MOU in protecting, utilizing, managing, and enforcing intellectual property through joint cooperation. The MOU was signed by IPO Director General Josephine Santiago and National Development Reform Commission (NDRC) Vice Chairman Zhang Yong.
Twelve other agreements were signed during the event, including cooperation on youth, infrastructure development, climate change, defense industry, and investment and production, among others.
“The signing of these documents reflects the commitment of Philippines and China towards mutually beneficial cooperation, as well as the resolve of the administration of President Duterte to strengthen further the renewed ties of friendship with China, our Asian neighbor,” he concluded.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) issued a revised Department Administrative Order (DAO) on cement importation to ensure consumer protection through compliance on quality standard procedure. This allows pre-shipment test in select and accredited testing centers from the country of origin to facilitate ease and fast importation process, while ensuring standard compliance.
“The pre-shipment testing will avoid delays in import supply which augment the cement requirement for the ongoing infrastructure projects. However, there will still be local verification tests, including sampling prior to its release to the market,” said DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez.
In the revised DAO, the distinction between the regular trader importers from integrated cement producer (ICP) importers was removed and both are now subject to the same import procedures including the option to do pre-shipment testing.
“We are also helping the importers avoid unnecessary freight through the pre-shipment test. Right at the country of origin, they will be informed if their products will be acceptable or not in the Philippines (PH),” the trade chief added.
The local verification test or the post-shipment test will confirm the compliance to the standards of the products. Importers whose shipments passed the pre-test but would fail the local verification test will be disqualified from doing pre-shipment testing in the future. Likewise, the foreign testing center from the country of origin involved in the approval of the products will be blacklisted.
“These amendments will ensure that quality cements get into the PH market and support quality infrastructure development under the Build Build Build program,” Sec. Lopez concluded.
PH welcomes leading Japanese confectionery manufacturers. The Philippines, through the Department of Trade and Industry’s Foreign Trade Service Corps (DTI-FTSC), welcomed 19 confectionary manufacturers from Kansai Kashi Kogyo Cooperative Association, led by its President Mr. Fujisawa Hajime, President of Nobel Confectionery Co., Ltd. (1st row; 5th from left), through a briefing held last 16 November at Dusit Thani Manila in Makati City. In her welcome remarks, DTI Industry Development and Trade Policy Group Assistant Secretary Rafaelita M. Aldaba (1st row, 4th from left) introduced DTI’s Inclusive Innovation Industrial Strategy or i3S, which aims to develop globally competitive and innovative industries to sustain the country’s high growth trajectory with innovation at its core. Agribusiness and processed food are among the 12 priority industries identified under the i3S. Mr. Nobuyuki Nakajima, Deputy Executive Director of Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Manila (1st row, 3rd from left), and Mr. Kawamura Tomotaka, Project Manager of Sojitz Philippines Corporation (1st row, 6th from left), also shared their valuable experience in doing business in the Philippines from a Japanese perspective. The event was concluded by a business networking session attended by members of the Philippine Confectionery, Biscuit and Snack Association (PCBSA), led by its President, Mr. Kissinger Sy (1st row, 1st from left). The Philippine confectionary industry grew by 2.6% in 2016, with revenues amounting to USD 670.10 million
MAKATI –– “The Philippine economy smashed expectations to post a 6.9% growth as a robust manufacturing industry expanded by 9.4% and increased its share to GDP by 22.4% in the third quarter of 2017,” Secretary Ramon M. Lopez of the Department of Trade Industry stated.
“This economic feat is creating meaningful and well-paying jobs for our people and providing a compelling environment for business to thrive. This is what the Department’s Trabaho at Negosyo thrust is all about,” the Secretary added.
The growth was one of the fastest in the region, outpacing other Asian countries, such as China (6.8%), Malaysia (5.8%), and Singapore (4.6%).
The services sector accounted for the highest share to GDP at 58.9%, followed by the industry sector (33.3%), and agriculture sector (7.5%). Manufacturing accounted for 69% of the total output of industry.
Among the three economic sectors, industry accelerated the fastest at 7.5%, while the services and agriculture sectors grew by 7.1% and 2.5%, respectively.
“We are closing in on our minimum target of growing the manufacturing industry to 25% of the country’s GDP. The Department remains relentless in our efforts to revive our factories, expand production, generate employment, and enable industry to provide the catalyst that will build the seamless link between a productive agriculture and a strong services sector,” Secretary Lopez added.
Food Manufactures, Top Manufacturing Sector
Food manufactures remained the main contributor with 23.6% of total gross value added (GVA) in manufacturing, followed by the manufacture of radio, television and communication equipment and apparatus with 18.6%, and chemical and chemical products with 15.9%.
Manufactures of fabricated metal products posted the fastest growth at 66.8%, followed by furniture and fixture (32.3%), and office, accounting and computing machinery (25.5%).
Retail Trade, Top Services Sector
The GVA of retail trade sector in trade and repair recorded a 6.9% increase in the third quarter of 2017. This was followed by wholesale trade (6.3%), and maintenance and repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles, personal and household goods (5.5%).
Secretary Lopez added that to enable retail trade to realize its full potential as a main contributor to the economy, the Department is supporting the proposed relaxation of foreign equity restrictions, particularly setting of a lower minimum paid-up capital for retail trade enterprises (from US$2,500,000 to US$200,000). This will spur investments into the country, stimulate economic growth, and create more quality jobs for the Filipinos.
Electronic products, Top Merchandise Export
Exports of goods have been growing steadily in 2017, rising by 22.8% and allowing the sector to contribute 54.0% to total GDP in Q3 2017. Electronic products, the country’s top merchandise export, increased by 24.0%, accounted for bulk of total PH export of goods at 63.4%, and contributed 34.2% to the country’s GDP.
Sustaining Manufacturing Resurgence through Innovation
“That efforts of the Department to expand exports, increase investments are finally bearing fruit is also due largely to the private sector’s support,” Secretary Lopez noted. “It is through the concerted efforts of Government and the Private Sector that an environment conducive to manufacturing and industry development can be created,” he added.
Under the Manufacturing Resurgence Program, the Department in collaboration with business and industry champions have finalized 36 industry roadmaps that will pave the way for the development of priority industries.
“We are moving towards the next phase of MRP where strong linkages between large industries and MSMEs will be fostered. The challenge is to sustain the growth and trickle down the effect to smaller industries,” Secretary Lopez said.
Secretary Lopez also emphasized the importance of innovation in sustaining manufacturing resurgence. “We are constantly reviewing our industrial strategy, as we enter the fourth industrial revolution. We are focusing our efforts towards innovation through the inclusive innovation industrial strategy or i3S.”
“This will entail training and upgrading the capability of our people, developing our own or adapting available technologies, and striving towards operational efficiency, to enable us to meet global demands and opportunities and enter a level of inclusive economic growth driven by innovation,” he added.
A delegation led by the Department of Trade and Industry – Calabarzon Office (DTI-Calabarzon) is in Canada and the United States for a trade and business mission to explore joint ventures and market arrangements and to also seek to strengthen business tie-ups and linkages towards business opportunities for Calabarzon enterprises from 12 November 12 to December 02, 2017.
DTI Calabarzon Regional Director Marilou Toledo leads the 20-day business mission and is composed of selected micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSME) along with officials and representatives of the municipal government of Alabat, Quezon, Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and DTI Laguna Provincial Office.
The group will actively engage in exploratory networking activities for possible future joint ventures and market arrangements and strengthening business tie-ups/network linkages towards business opportunities through the B2B meetings, market outlet visits and business matching sessions.
On top of the networking activities, the mission hopes to participate in learning sessions.
“I am hopeful that this mission will better equip our MSMEs to help them prosper in business and at the same time provide better opportunities for market linkages, business networking and know market trends and innovative product developments in these lucrative markets,” Toledo said.
The Canadian leg coincides with Canadian Executive Service Organization’s (CESO) 50th anniversary celebration with Toledo gracing the event as a distinguished institutional partner in strengthening MSMSEs in the region.
“This trip to Canada is built on the long-held strategic partnership with the Canadian Executive Service Organization (CESO), one of Canada’s leading volunteer-based development organizations”, Toledo said.
As a strategic partner, the DTI Calabarzon has forged collaboration with CESO to continuously capacitate and equip the Calabarzon MSMEs in their respective business operations.
To pave the way for the mission, DTI last month initiated a workshop to prime up prospective participants on their readiness to export and penetrate the Canadian market.
Business meetings and other exploratory activities are coordinated with the CESO officials, both Canada and Philippine-based, between the Philippine Trade and Investment Centers (PTICs) through Senior Trade Commissioner Ma. Roseni Alvero (DTI Foreign Trade Service Corps, PTIC-Canada), Nicanor Bautista, Commercial Counselor of PTIC-New York, and the Philippine Consulate General in Toronto, led by Consul General Rosalita Prospero.