DTI intensifies support for MSME exporters

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through its Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) intensifies its programs that support micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in accessing export markets through its Regional Interactive Platform for the Philippine Exporters (RIPPLES) Plus Program.

For full year 2017, RIPPLES Plus assisted a total of 408 exporters and implemented 33 marketing and promotional activities geared toward strengthening Philippine exporters’ capacities in support to increasing economic revenues for the country.

Through RIPPLES Plus, Philippine exporters are being assisted to penetrate markets by updating them on latest trends and market requirements.

“For the track 2 project, the conduct of the product development included the translation of the text of the chichacorn labels in Arabic language. This will open new export markets of my chichacorn products specifically in the Middle East,” said Clemencia Padre, a program participant from Region 1.

For 2018, the program aims to undertake targeted and more aggressive export promotion for priority industries, such as food and agri-marine, services, and industrial sectors.

“Our participation to the various trade and exhibitions and fairs allowed our cooperative to open new markets and new opportunities. Orders have increased from Manila- and Cebu-based exporters and converters. We generated a total of Php 6.40 million for 2016 and Php5.06 million for 2017 through RIPPLES Plus,” said Ma. Trina V. Sumayang, General Manager of of Tubigon Loomweavers Multipurpose Cooperative.

RIPPLES Plus is a focused program developed and being implemented by DTI-EMB that aims to expand the supply base of internationally competitive Philippine export products and services and to provide intensified, purposive and practical assistance geared toward the internationalization of Philippine MSMEs and expand the global export-market opportunities for large corporations.

RIPPLES Plus develops both products and exporters through four modes of assistance: training and capacity building; marketing and promotion; support for innovation through product development and design; access to markets through mutual recognition agreements (MRAs) and certifications.

In 2017, the country’s merchandise export recorded a 9.5% increase compared to 2016.  Total exported goods amounted to $62.87 billion with significant growth in non-electronic products, a reflection of the country’s efforts to diversify its export products.

Sec. Lopez lauds Senate approval PH-EFTA Free Trade Agreement

From L to R: Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Ceferino S. Rodolfo, DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez, Senator Loren B. Legarda, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Undersecretary Manuel Antonio J. Teehankee, and DFA Assistant Secretary Leo M. Herrera-Lim.

Pasay City—Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez hailed the ratification of the Senate of the Philippines-European Free Trade Association Free Trade Agreement (PH-EFTA FTA) during its third reading last 05 March 2018.

“The PH-EFTA FTA is in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s strategy of pursuing trade relations with non-traditional as well as high potential trade partners. With this ratification, the Philippines will benefit from expanded trade engagements with non-EU members even as it gives us greater access to the European market,” said Sec. Lopez.

The agreement will allow duty-free market access between the Philippines and the EFTA member states (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland) to trade products and services and facilitate investments.

Sec. Lopez said: “While there’s a large potential to expand our trade and investment relations with EFTA, the FTA also capitalizes on it since trade goods between the Philippines and EFTA are non-competing.”

The FTA benefits the PH especially in exporting agricultural, industrial, and fishery products. Once the FTA is in place, EFTA will grant duty-free market access to all industrial and fishery products from PH.

PH will also gain tax incentives on agricultural products, particularly those (1) that are currently being exported to the EFTA Member States such as desiccated coconut, prepared or preserved pineapples, and raw cane sugar; (2) with high potential export interest, including those exported to neighboring European countries, which can be alternatively exported to EFTA countries.

“This will improve the country’s market share vis-à-vis the other ASEAN countries in the EFTA market. The Philippines can take the opportunity to position itself as EFTA’s primary import source of these products,” said Senator Loren B. Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations during her speech at the Senate last February 26.

In return, PH will also grant EFTA countries duty-free market access on most industrial and fishery products as well as market access on goods such as temperate fruits, mineral and aerated waters, food preparations, chocolate, cheese and wine.

The agreement will also welcome foreign investments on renewable energy, computer and related services (IT-BPM), construction, environmental services, maritime transport, and finance.

Highly-skilled Filipino workers will also have easier entry in the 4 countries. The agreement allows temporary stay of the following service suppliers, without the need for an economic needs test: (1) executives, managers and specialists (who are intra-corporate transfers), (2) business visitors, (3) contractual service suppliers, and (4) installers of service industrial machinery.

The PH-EFTA FTA will be effective three months after its ratification in PH and at least one EFTA member state. Once implemented, this is the Philippines’ second bilateral FTA after the Japan-Philippine Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) in 2008.


DTI INKS PARTNERSHIP WITH SHOPINAS, AIR 21. Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Shopinas and Air 21 on 5 March 2018 to provide an e-commerce platform for Go Lokal! products. “This is a partnership on innovation, which is a key element in DTI’s thrust to support the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Through this platform, our MSMEs will be able to reach out a larger market beyond the boundaries of the country while maximizing their potential,” said Sec. Lopez. A specially designed Go Lokal! microsite will be available on Shopinas website that will feature MSME products. Items purchased on this platform will be delivered through Air 21. Go Lokal! accredited stores will also be featured on the main website bearing a badge for identification. “This partnership allows us to fulfill our mission to empower local entrepreneurs by bringing their businesses online and pushing Filipino e-commerce to be a dominant force in the world,” said Air 21 Global Inc. President and CEO Lucia Jane Lina. Shopinas and Air 21 are two of the businesses under Air 21 Global Inc. The group specializes in e-commerce, logistics, and customer service. In the photo are (L to R): Air 21 Head for Regional Business Development Rhona Begonia, Air 21/Shopinas Digital Business Head Mark Joseph Panganiban, DTI Assistant Secretary Rosvi Gaetos, Air21 Global Inc. President and CEO Lucia Jane Lina, Sec. Ramon Lopez, Airfreight 2100 President Reuben Pangan, DTI Director Rhodora Leaño, and Assistant Director Marievic Bonoan

DTI joins HIMS trade and investment roadshow in the USA


Houston, Texas – The 2018 Philippines Healthcare Information Management Services (HIMS) Trade and Investment Roadshow to the USA with the theme “Unlocking Opportunities. Embracing Innovation” held a business forum and outreach in Houston, Texas from 1-2 March 2018.


Texas Honorary Consul General Ethel Mercado welcomed the Philippine delegation headed by DTI Undersecretary for Trade and Investments Promotion Group Nora Terrado and composed of officials from the Department of Trade and Industry, Philippine Board of Investments (BOI) and Export Management Bureau (EMB), Philippine business process management (BPM) industry leaders and representatives from 13 companies providing IT and HIMS-BPM services.


Attended by healthcare professionals and business owners ranging from small to large healthcare facilities and institutions, the business forum held at the Texas Medical Center (TMC) 3rd Coast Restaurant highlighted the Philippines’ strong economic growth that translates to more enhanced partnership opportunities between the Philippines and the Houston healthcare industry.


The delegation served as ambassadors in promoting the sector’s strengths, advantages and capabilities. Company visits to the top three (3) health facilities in Houston, namely Memorial Hermann, Methodist, and CHI St. Lukes as well as Kindred and HealthSouth facilitated discussions on the impact of technology on healthcare information management.


“As we see the transformative effect of the Internet of Things (IoT) in the healthcare industry, the Philippines will continue to advance the complementation of our services and these emerging technologies. It also gives pride to the Philippines the increasing role of Overseas Filipino Investors (OFIs) in Houston’s healthcare and IT-BPM sector who have established their own respective facilities. We will continue to enhance our services to ensure we bring value to our OFIs as well,” said Undersecretary for Trade and Investments Promotion Group Nora K. Terrado.


The Houston Business Forum and Outreach is the 2nd track of the 2018 Philippines Healthcare Information Management Services (HIMS) Trade and Investment Roadshows in the United States of America (USA) organized by the Philippine Board of Investment (BOI) and the Department of Trade and Industry’s Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) in close coordination with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center Los Angeles (PTIC-LA) and the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce – Texas (PACCTx).


The Philippine delegation also concluded the New York Business Forum and business-to-business (B2B) meetings. It will proceed to Las Vegas for the country’s participation to the 2018 HIMSS Annual Conference and Exhibition, which will be attended by around 40,000 professionals, executives and vendors in the IT/HIM industry worldwide, making it a vast potential for networking and investment opportunities for the country.


The Philippines remains one of the leading suppliers of HIMS services worldwide, with 118, 245 full time employees (FTEs) and revenue of $2.41 billion in 2016. The Roadshow is part of the continuous efforts of the Philippines to help the HIMS-BPM Industry reach its US$5 billion revenue and 210,000 FTEs target by 2022.

In photo: The Philippine delegation during the Healthcare Information Management Services (HIMS) Trade and Investment Roadshow to the USA with the theme “Unlocking Opportunities. Embracing Innovation” business forum and outreach in Houston, Texas from 1-2 March 2018.

PTTC’s 1st Export Manager Advanced Training Program

 26 February 2018 – The Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC) of the Department of Trade and Industry and Hinrich Foundation, with other cooperating organizations like the Export Marketing Bureau (EMB)-DTI, the German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GPCCI/ AHK Philippines) and Leipzig University, held the 1st session of Export Manager Advanced Training Program on February 16-18, 2018 at the PTTC in Pasay City. It was attended by 35 participants from 29 exporting companies and five participants from DTI.

“Going international is like putting up a new one. It has its own select challenges, has its own demands, has its own processes, and basically, a very much bigger set of paradigms to interact with. And this session is already set up in 28 countries, and you are the first in the Philippines. And we hope that with support from our European friends like the German Chamber, we’ll see more of our European partners with us.” shared PTTC Executive Director, Nestor P. Palabyab.

GPCCI Executive Director Peter Kompalla, said in his welcome remarks that the program aims to build bridges between the two countries to foster international business relationship. Mr. Kompalla added that the German government is not a one-way road and is not only supporting German companies in the Philippines, but that it also provides equal support to Philippine companies that will lead to the European market.

International SEPT Program of Leipzig University Director Prof. Dr. Utz Dornberger emphasized that this training on international entrepreneurship is a knowledge transfer program which aims to equip the participants with new management tools for an innovative and proactive approach to new markets. Prof. Dr. Dornberger conducted the 3-day workshop and shared practical tools in quantitative and qualitative market research, how to create the right value proposition and the importance of creating a sound customer profile called “persona”.

The next & final session of the EMAT Manila will be on March 11-13, 2018 focusing on Market Entry Strategies, with by Mr Gunnar Kassberg of Leipzig University as the resource person. This is followed by individual coaching sessions on March 12-13, 2018 at the Philippine Trade Training Center.

In photo: (Front row, third from left) Hinrich Foundation Program Director Mr. Alexander Boome, Prof. Dr. Utz Dornberger of Leipzig University, EMB-DTI Assistant Director Agnes Legaspi,PTTC Executive Director Nestor P. Palabyab, and GPCCI Executive Director Peter Kompalla and (Second row, fifth from left) PTTC Acting Deputy Executive Director Elizabeth Manuel. Joining them are participants from different industries and regions in the Philippines and the training program coordinators.

In photo: Participants (from left to right: Greenflex International Corp., Greenlife Coconut Producer Phils, and Rathbone & Co., Inc.) in one-on-one consultations with Prof. Dr. Utz Dornberger during the workshop exercises.