As part of the agency’s thrust to increase awareness on the positive gains of entrepreneurship, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) link up to provide TESDA graduates with access to trainings on entrepreneurship to help generate to equip them with the necessary skills on entrepreneurship and employment.
According to DTI Sec. Ramon Lopez, acquired business skills by TESDA trainees from the Skills Training for Employment/Entrepreneurship Program (STEEP) can be used in effectively running their businesses in the future.
“This partnership not only complements our objective to equip our people with the right mindset and basic skills, it also contributes to our national goal to realize inclusive growth towards shared prosperity, powered by smarter Filipino entrepreneurs,” Sec. Lopez said.
STEEP aims provide interventions through skills development by providing access to training on entrepreneurship to graduates of TESDA program for self or wage employment to uplift their economic status.
“Through this partnership, we are glad to help TESDA graduates acquire more skills and development which can give them more opportunities to improve their lives by engaging in vibrant entrepreneurial activities,” said DTI Regional Operations Group Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya.
Under the agreement, TESDA will provide its list of graduates to DTI from the Special Training for Employment Program (STEP) and other similar scholarship program, assist in the conduct of the entrepreneurship training, and monitor and evaluate the implementation of the project.
Upon assessment and selection of TESDA’s certified STEP graduates, DTI, in turn, will provide entrepreneurship training, assist in availment of the microfinancing facilities, provide them access to start-up capital for micro enterprises, and even facilitate business registration of those who wish to engage in business/sole proprietorship.
“This is the service that we will provide to them,” Maglaya explained, adding that “from giving them the right mindset, to ensuring that they will have assistance until they decided to put up their own business, we will make sure that we are with them every step of their entrepreneurial journey.”
The STEEP agreement with TESDA is one of the Department’s initiatives to sustainably generate employment and further promote entrepreneurship in the country as DTI pushes for its “Trabaho at Negosyo” agenda.
ASEAN Task Force recommends boosting intra-regional trade and investment as global economic growth picks up
Amid the backdrop of steady economic recovery, high-ranking officials from the 10 Member States of ASEAN gathered in the Philippines for the second time this year to finalize recommendations that could further bolster the region’s trade and investment flows.
The High-Level Task Force on ASEAN Economic Integration (HTLF-EI) is composed of trade vice-ministers and serves as the visionary body for progressing the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). It convened its 32nd Meeting on 1 – 2 August 2017 in Makati City in preparation for the upcoming 49th ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) Meeting in September 2017. The HLTF-EI is primarily responsible for ensuring that the 10 ASEAN economies are on-track and on-time with the plans and programs intended to realize regional economic integration and achieve the vision of an AEC. The Philippines was led by DTI Undersecretary Ceferino S. Rodolfo.
Among the issues discussed for Economic Ministers’ consideration include the rapidly changing global economic environment and current technological and scientific advancements brought about by the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR). The HLTF-EI underscored the need for ASEAN to be well prepared and in a position to maximize the opportunities from 4IR to foster the region’s economic growth, and promote inclusive and equitable economic development.
The HLTF-EI exchanged views on the need to strengthen ASEAN’s centrality and leadership in driving the RCEP negotiations, as well as in working towards the timely completion of the priority economic deliverables set by the Philippines for its Chairmanship of ASEAN 2017.
“As established in the AEC 2025, the region needs to be together to mitigate the changes. Regional economic integration must therefore be strengthened, with the target to narrow down the development gaps and look into raising intra-ASEAN trade and investment,” HLTF-EI Chair Dato Paduka Lim Jock Hoi remarked.
Latest forecasts from the International Monetary Fund and Asian Development Bank indicate that the pickup in global growth remains on track especially in developing economies, with global output projected to grow by 3.5% in 2017 and 3.6% in 2018. Strong economic outlook for ASEAN is also expected with 4.8% GDP growth in 2017 and 5.0% in 2018. The Philippines continues to lead the region with an expected GDP growth rate at 6.8% this 2017.
As global trade growth steadily rebounds from a post-crisis low in 2016, the HLTF-EI discussed the importance of improving the overall trade environment in ASEAN through better institutions and well-designed trade and regulatory policies, particularly by mainstreaming of Good Regulatory Practice (GRP) and addressing the issue of non-tariff measures (NTMs). The HLTF-EI further underscored that NTMs have different regulatory objectives, which often become too extensive and complex that they act as barriers to trade. In order to address this, enhancing transparency was thereby recommended to the Ministers, as well as compliance to ASEAN agreements on notification, effective usage of existing ASEAN tools, private sector engagement, and regional cooperation on developing clearer guidelines to identify and eliminate such trade barrier effect.
“For the Philippines, priority is in pushing for an ASEAN that is driven by inclusiveness and innovation,” PH HLTF-EI Lead DTI Undersecretary Ceferino S. Rodolfo highlighted. “Inclusive, Innovation-Led Growth,” AEC’s thematic priority for 2017, sets the tone for the Philippines’ agenda on increasing trade and investments, integrating MSMEs in the Global Value Chains (GVCs), and developing an innovation-driven economy.
The meeting also tackled updates on the Grand Celebration of ASEAN’s 50th Anniversary on 08 August, as well as other commemorative activities lined up for the remaining months of 2017 to celebrate the region’s Golden Jubilee.
The recommendations of 32nd HLTF-EI Meeting will be submitted for consideration and further discussion at the 49th Meeting of the ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM), which will chaired by DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez, on 4 – 10 September 2017 in Manila, Philippines
The Philippine Halal Export and Development Promotion Board led by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) recently adopted the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Republic Act 10817 or the Philippine Halal Export Development and Promotion Act of 2016 which sets the direction of the Philippine Halal sectors and takes advantage of the lucrative $3.2 trillion global Halal market.
“As the implementing rules and regulations are now in place, DTI will beef up development and promotional activities for the Philippine halal sector which will open new economic opportunities particularly in the Mindanao region,” said DTI Secretary and Philippine Halal Export Board Chairman Ramon M. Lopez.
The adopted IRR covers the formulation and implementation of a comprehensive Philippine Halal Export Industry Development and Promotion Programs that will increase export, sale, and provision of Halal products, processes, and services aside from ensuring a more competitive Philippine Halal exports through research and product development, quality assurance measures, and value-adding mechanisms.
The DTI through its Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB) has set up its Halal Section that is dedicated to conducting capacity-building activities for and among concerned Halal stakeholders. It also provides necessary assistance to local Halal Certifying Bodies (CBs) about the dynamics of the new Philippine Halal law.
“DTI’s primary role is to promote the sector and ensure that Philippine manufacturers are ready to take part in the existing Halal value chain and ensure compliance to international standards,” explained DTI Export Marketing Bureau Director Senen M. Perlada.
By and large, DTI aims to make the Philippines as an active player in the regional and international markets for Halal. As a way forward, a national strategic planning for Philippine Halal 2022 will involve regional and national government agencies, Muslim religious leaders, private sector and consumers. High on its agenda is the harmonization of existing projects and programs of all relevant government agencies for Halal sector.
The Philippine Halal Export Development and Promotion Board is composed of the DTI as chair, the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, Departments of Agriculture, Health, Science and Technology, Foreign Affairs, Tourism, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), and two Muslim Filipino professionals.
The IRR is a product of consultations with various stakeholders across the country. The DTI, as lead of the Halal Export Board, spearheaded and continue to lead activities that will uphold Halal awareness.
KUALA LUMPUR—As ASEAN celebrates its 50th founding anniversary, 2017 marks an opportune time to reflect on what ASEAN has achieved over the past five decades and what it seeks to accomplish ahead.
Speaking at the ASEAN@50 Conference in Kuala Lumpur on 4 August before an assembly of audience representing various stakeholders, ASEAN 2017 Economic Ministers chairman and Philippine Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said that collaboration and communication are two essential elements to keep ASEAN moving.
“The region has to focus on two Cs, Collaboration and Communication. By engaging multi-stakeholders, ASEAN develops a win-win solution in ensuring that economic opportunities will be equitably felt by all ASEAN citizens,” he said.
Since its inception in 1967, the 10-member regional organization has transformed into a global economic powerhouse, with a population of 622 million and has become one of the world’s fastest growing investment destinations.
ASEAN’s total trade increased by USD 700 billion between 2007 and 2015, with intra-ASEAN trade comprising the largest share. In 2015, ASEAN attracted USD 121 billion of FDI with intra-ASEAN constituting the largest share of inflows. .
Sec. Lopez said that ASEAN should aim to communicate its programs and priorities to the ASEAN citizens, providing them with the right platform to know how they can contribute to the region’s growth story.
“Our communication must be sustained and intensified if we want to reap the benefits of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), working towards a deeper regional integration in 2025,” he added.
The trade chief made reference to the ASEAN 2025: Forging Ahead Together as a forward-looking roadmap to prepare the region in the next phase of evolvement, and which charts the pathway for strengthening the ASEAN Community over the next 10 years.
As one of the three pillars of the ASEAN Community, the AEC is a realization of ASEAN’s goal to have an integrated and prosperous economic region with a single market–where there is free movement of goods, services and investments.
“ASEAN’s continuing economic transformation remains an example of how regional integration and cooperation is plausible despite challenges and diversity in size, geography, political background, and culture,” the trade chief said.
AEC reflects connectedness and translates diversity into strength as ASEAN’s variety becomes a source of attraction to global investors, mindful of the region’s stake in open global markets.
According to Sec. Lopez, promoting complementation and cooperation is at the heart of ASEAN integration efforts. Closer trade and enhanced economic cooperation, combined with continued engagement with Dialogue Partners, provides the region with a solid platform to continuously bolster the region’s growth and promote complementation of domestic reforms among Member States.
ASEAN has also become a significant link to the international community because of the dynamism and the huge potential it offers to the world.
“We have engaged our major trading partners namely Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea, and New Zealand in free trade agreements, negotiating as a single ASEAN entity rather than as individual economies discussing bilateral trade arrangements,” Sec. Lopez added.
In 2013, ASEAN initiated negotiations for a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which aims to expand the current ASEAN market to a huge integrated market of 3.5 billion with its six Dialogue Partners China, Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and India.
Sec. Lopez also took the opportunity to present the Philippine agenda as the current ASEAN chair. Under the inclusive, innovation-led growth theme, the country is poised to champion the development and internationalization of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) with key strategic measures to increase trade and investment, integrate MSMEs in global value chains and pursue an innovation-led economy.
“ASEAN continues to develop into a pivotal marketplace with its relatively young, growing labor force and emerging middle class,” he said, adding that ASEAN has transformed into a community of dramatic diversity and manifold opportunities.