Philippines, Singapore launch program to boost digitalization of 5,000 small businesses

Bruce Rodriguez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 21 2021 04:54 PM

MANILA - The Department of Trade and Industry and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Thursday launched a program that aims to digitalize at least 5,000 Filipino small businesses.

The "Business Without Borders" program will enable micro, small and medium enterprises to bring their businesses online and widen their customer base outside the country, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said during the virtual launch. 

The program is part of the Philippine Trade Training Center's (PTTC) meeting with the MAS conducted before the COVID-19 pandemic. 
Success through online channels is possible due to the country's high mobile penetration and record social media use with at least 80 million active users, Lopez said. 

"This program is intended to enable at least 5,000 Pinoy SMEs and e-Retailers this year to trade beyond our borders and equip them with the necessary skills needed," Lopez said. 

Online business registrations skyrocketed with over 109,345 business name registrations for online businesses since March 2020, Lopez said.

"All these numbers present a very strong potential to be converted into e-commerce transactions," he explained.

In a commissioned study by Google, data showed that helping businesses boost their digital transformation could generate up to P5 trillion annually by 2030. 

E-commerce can also drive the country's internet economy to $28 billion by 2025, the tech giant earlier said. 

Lopez said the agency also offers various programs such as the COVID 19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises or CARES program of microfinancing arm, the Small Business Corporation (SB Corp), which could propel Filipino businesses to success.

The majority of businesses in the country or over 99.9 percent are made up of MSMEs.


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