MANILA — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Friday assured the local export industry that his administration is taking steps to improve the Philippines’ competitiveness in the global export market.
Speaking to exporters, diplomats, and international trade partners at the first “Tanyag” trade networking event of the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) in Taguig City, the president prided in what he called the “uniqueness” of Filipino products and services.
“I know in my heart that the Philippines is a reliable partner and sourcing destination for various trade sectors such as home, fashion, lifestyle, food, creative, and sustainability,” Marcos said.
“Since taking office, I have ensured the implementation of initiatives that will make the Philippines an ideal player in the export sector.”
These, he said, include creating “high-value and competitive” products for global use, and implementing reforms to make the country more enabling for businesses.
Marcos highlighted the government’s ongoing digital transformation initiatives and infrastructure improvement that would help grow the export sector.
He added local exporters will also benefit from moves to draw investors here—a target of the president’s multiple overseas trips.
“Our campaign to attract foreign investments are also aimed at facilitating technology and knowledge transfers to local industry and creating a robust export ecosystem within our country,” Marcos said.
“We are also intensifying our trade promotion activities to help open opportunities for small businesses in the global market.”
The goal of these initiatives, he said, is to turn the country into a “destination of choice” for doing business.
Marcos added the DTI will expedite completion of the Philippine Export Development Plan 2023-2028 which will help expand the reach of Filipino exporters and their products.
CITEM is the export promotions arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
Aside from organizing international trade fairs here in the country such as IFEX, Manila FAME, and CREATE Philippines, it also represents the Philippines in overseas trade fairs.
Trade secretary Alfred Pascual at the event said the agency aims to help local micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and startups grow and upscale to ready them for export.
“We encourage everyone to champion Philippine products and services and work together to bring them to every continent of the world,” Pascual said.
“Given Filipinos’ innate creativity and resourcefulness, we are excited for future collaborations between public and private sector to provide the appropriate support and opportunities to make global presence a reality for many Philippine products.”
The Philippines recently ratified its participation in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a free trade deal among 14 nations that economic managers believe will open the country to more markets and create jobs.
However, some groups believe the RCEP will negatively impact Philippine producers because the country imports more products than it exports.