National Export Congress focuses on speed up digitalization of businesses


IFEX Philippines 2019 that participated by foreign buyers, traders flock

By Alithea De Jesus

After a slowdown in export in light of the coronavirus pandemic, the Philippines is slowly rebounding in its export merchandise in the latest report. But given the unique situation wherein social distancing, community quarantine and other health protocols are being implemented by the government the need to effectively and efficiently ramp up the momentum of the export market, the exporting companies need to accelerate digital transformation to recover and thrive in the new normal.

This coming December 3, industry stakeholders will participate in the virtual National Export Congress (NEC) carrying the theme “Digitalization Boost: Invigorating Export in the New Normal” discussing how exporters can digitally transform different aspects of their business and sustain the sector’s gains.

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary and Export Development Council (EDC) chair Ramon Lopez will deliver a keynote address at the opening ceremonies of the event.


DTI Undersecretary Abdulgani Macatoman and Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT) President and EDC Vice Chair Sergio Ortiz-Luis, Jr. will also give their opening statements.

Two-panel discussion sessions at the congress will tackle digitalization in manufacturing, payments, logistics, and skills upgrading and retooling; and connectivity, e-commerce, and education and training.

Esteemed speakers from the government and private sector include EMS Consulting Group president Ferdinand Ferrer, GCash Head of Key Merchants and Acquirers Maria Ana Leticia Pascual, Supply Chain Management Association of the Philippines President-elect Pierre Carlo Curay, Employers Confederation of the Philippines Director Antonio Sayo, Department of Information and Communications Technology Undersecretary for Special Concerns Emmanuel Rey Caintic, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Director Melchor Plabasan, DTI e-Commerce Lead Assistant Secretary Jean Pacheco, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Deputy Director-General Rosanna Urdaneta.

During the congress, awarding ceremonies will recognize the country’s top exporters of 2019.

Fujita Masataka, Secretary-General of the ASEAN Japan Council will also share a presentation on the global value chain leveraging on this regional partnership.

SheTrades, the International Trade Centre’s initiative for the economic empowerment of women, will also be launched. It will be graced by Lopez, Macatoman and ITC Executive Director Pamela Coke-Hamilton.

A panel discussion will then showcase Philippine women-owned businesses who are successfully navigating the new normal, are gaining competitive advantage through their digital transformation and will be able to access more global trade opportunities through the ITC SheTrades initiative.

The NEC is the culminating activity of the National Exporters’ Week which is celebrated every first week of December per presidential proclamation 931, Series of 1996, and House Resolution 33.

Prior to the congress, the free Usapang Exports seminar series organized by the DTI-Export Marketing Bureau will discuss export-related matters, global trends, market updates, and other relevant topics.

This year’s sessions will cover logistics and transport, market trends in the new normal, international certification for food and non-food exports, and halal exports, among other topics.

The export enablers’ exhibit showcases the export-related services of government agencies, financing institutions, startups, and other trade-related organizations.

“The exhibit provides a venue where exporters can get all the requisite export knowledge and professional guidance necessary in navigating the vast and intricate network of businesses across the global market and break new grounds internationally,” the DTI-EMB said.

Interested participants may register through


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