The Philippine Exporters Confederation (PHILEXPORT) said on Thursday, Oct. 26, that the public-private partnership (PPP) has paved the way to address business concerns and enhance the country’s export performance.

In his speech on the second day of the 49th Philippines Business Conference and Expo (PBC&E), PHILEXPORT President Sergio R. Ortiz-Luis emphasized that the Export Development Council (EDC), the country’s top export policymaking body, has successfully advocated for legislative and executive changes to improve export performance.

Since its inception as a significant provision of the Export Development Act of 1994, Ortiz-Luis said that EDC is “the first PPP that continues to fulfill its policy mandate” in many works revolving “around easing the cost and flow of doing business which has consistently topped business concerns.”

“In the PPP formula, the private sector is looked at as the catalyst while the government enables. In this role and in as much as the policy environment and infrastructure are in place, business is supposed to take advantage of emerging domestic and global opportunities to also develop a robust supply and value chain and generate quality and sustainable jobs and livelihood,” Ortiz-Luis added.

The Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) 2023 to 2028, implemented by EDC, aims to transform the Philippines as an agile export powerhouse in four priority industry clusters including industrial machinery and transport; technology, media, and telecommunications; health and life sciences; and modern basic needs of a resilient economy.

These areas can be developed through strategic actions such as addressing production constraints; developing a strong innovative export ecosystem, and increasing the Philippines’ mindshare in the global market.

Ortiz-Luis also noted that electronics, semiconductors, and high-tech products are potential niches that the country has to fill within such areas. These products remain the country’s strongest exports.

He also noted the country can also improve this year’s recorded $4 trillion worth of global market for Halal, $5.56 trillion worth of global e-commerce opportunities, $62 billion in green or eco-friendly products and services globally, $4 trillion creative industries global market, and $21 billion global logistics markets.

“On the other hand, there are critical investments needed to set up, maintain, and/or upgrade facilities and infrastructure for ICT, transportation systems, power, water, education and farm-to-market roads,” he added.

Meanwhile, Ortiz-Luiz noted that the Departments of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Science and Technology (DOST) are working to build a dynamic industry and national ecosystem rooted in the Science, Technology, and Innovation-based Industrial Strategy.

Part of these efforts are the DTI’s Inclusive Innovation Industrial Strategy, Filipinnovation and Entrepreneurship Roadmap, Regional Inclusive Innovation Centers, and National Al Strategy Roadmap.

However, he said that “there are continuing dialogues and programs to identify and overcome gaps and realize opportunities in building the country’s human capital, infrastructure, and innovation ecosystem needed to drive globally competitive and innovative industries.”

Meanwhile, he stressed that the DOST promotes smart and sustainable communities and develops climate-resilient products and services.

Further, the opening session provided ideas for smart cities, while BIR, DICT, DOE, and SEC provided updates on streamlining, digitization, and digitalization efforts, according to Ortiz-Luiz.

“The overall goal is to grow globally competitive and innovative industries and people as we continue to push for digital transformation and innovation,” he said.

“We are aware how big the work ahead is towards achieving our 2050 vision. No single enterprise nor organization nor agency can handle this. Truly, this is a whole of nation approach,” Ortiz-Luiz concluded.