MANILA — Digital innovations coupled with government support could help small and medium enterprises scale up in the new normal, new Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual on Friday said.
During the turnover ceremony at Department of Trade and Industry's headquarters, Pascual said he would prioritize small businesses, promote manufacturing, improve ease of doing business, attract more investments, expand exports, and reform the DTI organization and processes.
MSMEs or micro, small and medium enterprises comprise over 99 percent of businesses in the country.
With support, small firms can grow to medium-sized businesses, while medium enterprises could grow into big businesses, Pascual said.
"We want our small businesses to be driven by science, technology and innovation to meet changing market demands for quality and new products. We want them to embrace digital transformation so they can improve operating efficiency, reduce costs, and earn profits even if they make their products more affordable to consumers," he said.
"Our country can be competitive, but we have to do it region by region. Otherwise if we'll just be focusing on the National Capital Region, there will be a lot of laggards around us," he added.
Anther key focus is the development of industries that could ensure food security and has the potential for massive job production. These industries include manufacturing, tourism, creative industries, agriculture and agribusiness, forestry, construction, mining, and BPO, Pascual said.
The government will also focus on other key industries such as electronics, aerospace, automative, and mineral production such as copper, he said.
Former Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, meanwhile, called Pascual a "better man" for the job during the turnover ceremony.