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In the virtual courtesy call of Singapore Trade Minister Gan Kim Yong to Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez, the two officials talked about further strengthening the Philippines and Singapore’s partnership in digitalizing Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). Both recognized the surge of e-commerce during the COVID-19 pandemic and its significant impact to the economy; and as such, agreed to explore joint initiatives on digitalization development for MSMEs. Moreover, Sec. Lopez shared the Philippines’ efforts on upskilling and reskilling MSMEs to capacitate them with future skills, as well as continued push for ensuring ease of doing business in the country for faster trade and business facilitation.
DTI Secretary Lopez expressed the country’s interest to partner with Singapore in promoting hyperscalers in the Philippines, which is targeted to be its next growth engine. *The trade chief also shared with the Singaporean minister possible joint ventures and areas for investments in the Philippines such as on interconnectivity, digital technologies and startups, renewable energy, and infrastructure—namely the national government’s Build Build Build project.
Furthermore, Secretary Lopez and Minister Gan reaffirmed the two countries’ strong bilateral relations and economic cooperation despite the challenges brought about by the prolonged global pandemic. The virtual courtesy call was held on 15 September 2021 at the sidelines of the 53rd ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting and Related Meetings.