DTI chief makes final push for MSMEs initiatives

MANILA, Philippines  In his remaining months as secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Gregory Domingo said he will continue initiatives in providing broader opportunities for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to the international market.

Domingo, who is also the current Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) chairman, emphasized the need to place MSMEs at the front and center of regional trade agenda.

"It will take more time, but at least get them started to swing," Domingo told reporters on the sidelines of P&G SME Leadership College on Thursday, September 17.

He said that among the key priorities is advancing specific and concrete interventions to promote the participation of MSMEs in regional and global markets, either through global value chains or as direct exporters of finished goods and services.

"We're quite successful in doing so during the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) meeting. Member economies agreed to bolster the ability of MSMEs to participate in cross-border business through the Boracay Action Agenda to globalize MSMEs," he said.

The Philippines was appointed as a vice chair at 10th World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference in Nairobi, Kenya from December 15 to December 18.

Domingo considers the vice-chairmanship as a prime position for the Philippines since "not all trade ministers are responsible for MSMEs."

"I will go there to further push our initiatives in promoting MSMEs," Domingo said.

In the Philippines, MSMEs account for about a third of the gross domestic product, represent 98% of all registered businesses, and employ more than 50% of the entire domestic workforce.