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Phl exporters hope for more support from the gov’t

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By Victoria “NIKE” De Dios

The Philippines has been very active in overseas trade and promotion to get more export leads and penetrate the global market.

ASEAN neighbors like Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia are also very active in their export promotion and have established their respective markets. In the Philippines, manufacturers and trader exporters seek more support from the government that would be at par with the regional incentives provided by the government to the export industry in their respective countries.

More than the incentives, the importance of developing and capacitating the Filipino exporters can help them quickly respond and adapt to the uncertain and fast-changing international trading environment through the provision of support services and incentives and this was underscored at the recent National Export Congress.

At the same event held earlier this month, the role of government agencies that serve as export enablers in empowering exporters to be agile and resilient was also highlighted, as exporters were encouraged to seek out these enablers and avail themselves of the services, incentives, and programs offered.

The export congress was organized by the Department of Trade Industry-Export Marketing Bureau, together with the Export Development Council and the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said it is the leading enabler and provider of science, technology, and innovation (STI) solutions for national development.

Among the support services it offers exporters include highly specialized STI facilities, testing and calibration services, innovation hubs, access to experts, access to technologies, technology upgrading for SME exporters, and research and development support.

The Land Bank of the Philippines, the country’s largest government financial institution, discussed its financing programs for Filipino exporters, which have the vision to “unlock the full potential of the export industry.”

Some of the Land Bank’s agri-financing programs for exporters include the high-value crops and value chain lending program, poultry and livestock value chain lending program, and aqua lending program. Among its non-agri financing programs are the I-Tech lending program, real energy financing program, and ecozone lending program.

Meanwhile, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) talked about empowering Filipino exporters to take advantage of their intellectual property (IP) to add value to their products and to protect their IP assets before jumping into the global market.

IPOPHL said its Juan for the World Program is one of these projects with public and private sector partners that intend to make exporters competitive in the world market. The program is aimed at enabling by the end of 2024 a targeted 100 eligible MSMEs to protect their trademarks and be globally competitive under the Madrid Protocol.

The program’s incentive package provides financial and technical business assistance including registration assistance, waived handling fees, basic fee coverage, and technical help like marketing and management.

The Bureau of Customs, on the other hand, said it continues to undertake modernization and trade facilitation initiatives to support export growth and overall economic progress.

Earlier, the BIR said the agency’s 10-year digitalization program rests on four pillars that uphold ease of doing business and reduction of red tape.

These pillars seek to strengthen the BIR organization; modernize the digital backbone of the agency; enhance policies, governance, and standards; elevate taxpayer experience and innovate BIR services.

The National Export Congress was part of the week-long celebration of the 26th National Exporters’ Week (NEW) 2023 in the first week of December, with the theme, “Agile Philippines: Empowering Exporters towards Global Excellence.” Also part of the NEW celebration was an export enablers exhibit, which featured and made available to Philippine exporters the programs and services of public and private sector partners, and provided exporters free onsite business advisory services.

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