Gov’t capacitates SMEs to be competitive suppliers of goods in world market, BOI to conduct conference workshop on global value chains

The government is capacitating the country’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to be competitive suppliers of products and services in the global market through global value chains (GVCs) as it conducts next week (November 23-24, 2015) a GVC Conference Workshop at the Dusit Hotel in Makati City.

Dubbed as “Global Value Chains, Industrial Policy, and SME Integration in GVCs: Transformation Strategies for More Inclusive and Sustainable Growth”, the two-day conference workshop will be a venue for learning and capacitating the estimated 200 participants from various industries and sectors of SMEs, regional development councils, government agencies, the academe, and other representatives and stakeholders in the GVC arena.

Organized by the Philippine Board of Investments (BOI), the industry development and investments promotion arm of the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI), the conference workshop is a continuation of the BOI’s industry roadmap localization efforts, highlighting the convergence of the DTI’s Industry Development Group and the Regional Operations Group.

GVCs are the process of producing goods from raw materials to finished products wherever around the world the necessary skills and materials are available at competitive cost and quality.  For example, Macbooks, Iphones and Ipads are designed in the United States but are assembled in China and some parts of these products are from Japan, Germany, France, Korea, among others.

“Most of the products are no longer being made in one country.  They are now actually made in many parts of the world.  The same is true even for low-tech products like T-shirts whose production is also characterized by global value chains,” said DTI Assistant Secretary for industry development Rafaelita Aldaba, who will open the conference workshop’s session with a welcome remark.

“This conference cum workshop is an important opportunity to build our capacity on how best to design and implement our national and regional industrial policies using industry roadmaps as tools.  This also serves as venue for us to promote inter-and intra-regional cooperation and exchange views on better policies for the transformation of our resource-rich regions and enhance their competitiveness through integration into GVCs,” Assistant Secretary Aldaba said.

At the first day of the conference workshop, DTI Undersecretary for regional operations Zenaida Maglaya will provide a general landscape on the role of SMEs and their integration in GVCs during her keynote address.  The fundamentals of GVCs meanwhile will be discussed by: Dr. Javier Lopez Gonzalez, Trade Policy Analyst of the OECD Trade and Agriculture Directorate (Understanding GVCs and Inclusion of SMEs in GVCs); Mr. Penny Bamber, USAID STRIDE Consultant and Senior Researcher of the Center on Globalization, Governance & Competitiveness of the Duke University (Agribusiness: Linking Local Producers to Regional and Global Value Chains); and Dr. Geneshan Wignaraja, Advisor of the ADB Economic and Regional Cooperation Department (FTAs and SME Integration in GVCs: Experience Across Asia).

The government’s perspective on GVCs and its relation to Philippine trade and investment policy will also be discussed by Assistant Secretary Aldaba while representatives from the various local business industries such as aerospace (Willy Estoque, Moog Controls Corp.), automotive (Dante Santos, Mitsubishi Corp.), electronic manufacturing services (Mary Ann Natividad, IMI), rubber (Bonifacio Tan, Farma Rubber), coffee (Ruth Novales, Nestle), and cacao/chocolate (Simon Bakker, Kennemer Foods) will share their experiences in participating in GVCs as suppliers.  They will also highlight the benefits and constraints and the key factors driving their successful integration and upgrading in the GVCs.

At the last session on day 1, Dr. Ponciano Intal Jr., Senior Economist of the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia will discuss about policy directions for regional economic growth and development and the role of GVCs in transforming regional economies.  This will be followed by responses from the academe (Dr. Rolando Dy, USAID COMPETE Consultant and Executive Director of the Center for Food and Agribusiness of the UA&P), and from the government (Jerry Clavesillas, Director in Charge of the DTI Bureau of SME Development; and Ma. Lourdes Lim, NEDA Region XI Director). The session will be closed by BOI Supervising Director for industry development Ma. Corazon Dichosa.

On the second day, there will discussions on promoting participation in GVCs for inclusive and sustainable growth.  The speakers and their specific topics include: Prof. Fukunari Kimura, Chief Economist, Economic Research Institute for Asean and East Asia (GVCs and their impact on domestic economies); Dr. Javier Lopez Gonzalez, Trade Policy Analyst of the OECD Trade and Agriculture Directorate (Using Trade in Value Added Database for Evidence-based Policy Making); Dr. Jesus Felipe, Advisor, ADB Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department (Industrial Policy and Structural Transformation); and Robert Batungbacal, Country Director of Dow Chemical and Dan Lachica, President of the Semiconductor & Electronics Industries in the Philippines Inc. (Prospects for the Evolution of PH Manufacturing Industries).

Six groups will be formed at the breakout session in the afternoon to discuss and present the opportunities for upgrading through GVC participation, identification of promising areas in the region and for which industry clusters, creation of regional value chains, strengthening of industrial and entrepreneurial base, how to address bottlenecks, and the role of industrial policy to maximize benefits from GVC participation.

The session will be closed by Assistant Secretary Aldaba with a synthesis and next steps to take. (END)