The Department of Trade and Industry through its Philippine Trade and Investment Center in Berlin presented to more than 100 German company representatives the Philippine investment climate and business opportunities, as well as competitive investment incentives offered to German companies at the recent ASEAN Investment Forum on 10 July 2018 held at the Ernst & Young- Düsseldorf Auditorium in Germany. The ASEAN Investment Forum 2018 is a joint project of the investment promotion agencies of the Philippines (DTI Berlin), Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore, in collaboration with the German Asia-Pacific Business Association, Ernst & Young Düsseldorf and IHK Düsseldorf. The keynote address was given by Dr. Andreas Stoffers of SDI München, who emphasized ASEAN as a thriving economic zone. The event also featured a lecture by Mr. Eduard Herda of EY on operating business models in Southeast Asia, and testimonials from German companies present in the region. For the Philippines, Mr. Dirk Sohns, Head of Asset Management of STEAG GmbH talked about their presence and experience in doing business in the Philippines. Meanwhile, PTIC-Berlin Commercial Counsellor Althea Antonio (in photo, standing) served as the official representative and presenter for DTI. In 2017, Germany ranked as the Philippines’ 11th trading partner (out of 223), 7th export market (out of 216) and 12th import supplier (out of 198). For 2018, Germany remains in the top ten markets of Philippine merchandise goods. On the investments front, Germany ranked third as top source of Investment Promotion Agency (IPA)-approved investment from 2011-2017 in the European Union, following the Netherlands and United Kingdom. In 2017, it ranked as the 12th investment source, with $29.19 million worth of IPA-approved investments.
DTI assists Pinoy cargo companies in UAE. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through its Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) in Dubai brought together freight forwarding companies in an organizational meeting to discuss the proposed creation of an association under the umbrella of the Philippine Business Council. These freight forwarders service Filipinos frequently shipping balikbayan boxes. Led by Commercial Attaché Eric C. Elnar (first row; seated left), the group discussed common concerns that affect businesses as well as the services provided to customers. Commercial Attaché Elnar encouraged the group to formalize the creation of the association and work together in coming up with solutions that will prove beneficial both for the cargo companies and its clients. It includes self-regulation on and standardization of rates, box sizes and weights, and promotional offers, among others. Commercial Attaché Elnar noted that the DTI’s Philippine Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau regularly releases a list of accredited Philippines cargo companies with UAE counterparts to serve as guidance to the shipping public. However, the DTI does not have regulation, monitoring and enforcement authority over companies registered and operating in the UAE. The proposed association’s membership and accreditation is expected to further protect the public against illegal operators. Each day, an estimated 10,000 balikbayan boxes are sent by Overseas Filipino Workers from UAE to the Philippines.
DTI mainstreams MSME products. Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez briefs President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on the products of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) assisted by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) during the National MSME Summit at Clark, Pampanga on 10 July 2018. Sec. Lopez shared to the President DTI’s interventions on product development and design assistance to prepare MSMEs in entering mainstream market. These products are now featured in 56 Go Lokal! stores nationwide. DTI has been in the forefront in promoting modern, creative, and 100% Filipino-made products since the beginning of the President’s term. “DTI’s holistic approach to assist our MSMEs ensures that their products and services reach everyday the mainstream market, inside establishments with the high foot traffic,” said the trade chief. Products of over 364 MSMEs suppliers are given exposure daily through this concept store. Also at the event were Former President and Pampanga 2nd District Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go, Presidential Adviser Joey Concepcion and Congressman Peter Unabia.
PH, ROK TO ESTABLISH JOINT COMMISSION FOR TRADE AND ECONOMIC COOPERATION. Philippine (PH) Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Republic of Korea (ROK) Trade, Industry, and Energy Minister Ungyu Paik to establish a mutually beneficial and strategic trade and economic partnership between the two countries through a Joint Commission for Trade and Economic Cooperation (JCTEC). The JCETC will cover cooperation on the areas of trade and investment, industry and industrial technology, especially automobile as well as mold and die. It will also lead activities of cooperation through exchange of information related to trade, economic relations, relevant laws, regulations, and policies for the benefit of the two countries. Likewise, it will also prepare proposals for the bilateral cooperation and relations. The MOU signing was held in the presence of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and South Korean President Moon Jae-in during the bilateral meeting between the two governments on 4 June 2018.
DTI RECEIVES QUICK CHARGING STATION TO PROMOTE E-VEHICLES IN PH. Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez (right) and Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation (MMPC) President and CEO Mutsuhiro Oshikiri (left) unveiled an electric vehicle (EV) quick charging station at the Board of Investments (BOI) compound in Makati City on 21 May 2018. In line with the government’s push to create an EV ecosystem in the Philippines, MMPC donated the quick charging facility to DTI to complement their two Mitsubishi EVs, the I-Miev and the Outlander. This is part of the EV Research Study initiative being done by DTI-BOI, MMPC, and a consortium of universities composed of De La Salle University, University of the Philippines, Technological University of the Philippines, Mapua University, and Ateneo de Manila University. “We know that the future automobile is going to be transformed and driven by forces such as autonomous drive, electrification, diverse mobility, and connectivity. The cars of the future are going to be greener, electric, connected, and autonomous,” said Sec. Lopez. The results of the EV Research Study will serve as important inputs for the formulation of EV policies and programs. These cover environment, transportation, energy, and industrial policies necessary for environmental protection and the development of the EV industry.
P3 LOANS TO BE ACCESSED THROUGH DIGITAL PLATFORM. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is partnering with FINTQnologies Corp. (FINTQ) through Lendr to provide a digital lending platform where micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) can avail of the Pondo para sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) program. “President Rodrigo Duterte always seeks for ways to provide service and assistance to our micro entrepreneurs in the easiest and most accessible way as possible. That’s why DTI tied up with FINTQ to allow MSMEs to access P3 funds through the online platform Lendr,” said DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez. The government, through DTI’s attached agency Small Business Corporation (SBCorp), allocated Php 1 billion per year to fund the P3 program, which aims to assist MSMEs to grow their businesses through low-interest loans. Meanwhile, FINTQ will be conducting a financial literacy caravans in three pilot areas of P3 program, namely: Tacloban, Occidental Mindoro, and Sarangani. The caravan will also offer onsite loan application assistance for MSMEs. In the photo are (L to R) SBCorp President Ma. Luna Cacanando, DTI Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya, Sec. Lopez, P3 loan beneficiaries Edgardo Waniwan, Angelyn Avila, and Judith Waniwan, Voyager Innovation President and CEO Orlando Vea, FINTQ Managing Director Lito Villanueva