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Phl Internet economy posts $7.5B in 2020

While the global health pandemic caused enormous revenue losses for most industries in the Philippines, the local internet economy posted a six percent increase or $7.5 billion in 2020, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said.

During the launch of the two-day Forum on Competition in Developing Countries (F-CDC) on Monday, he stressed that despite the pandemic, this is a “silver lining” for the Philippine economy as the country’s Internet sector hit the $7.5 billion mark in 2020 against the $7.1 billion posted in 2019, growing six percent year-on-year based on the study by Google Temasek.



“What’s more, there were more new online retailers last year, reaching around 80,000 because of the pandemic. That’s why last January, we launched the e-Commerce Roadmap to develop and promote e-commerce in the country. Our goal is for the e-commerce sector to share 5.5 percent of the economy by 2022,” Lopez said.

Commitment to competitiveness

He emphasized that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) remains committed to strengthening the country’s competitiveness by adhering to the principles of competition, supporting liberalization and the further opening of markets when it allowed importation and the lowering tariffs — or tariff liberalization — so that businesses can become more competitive.

“Through this adherence to free market policies, competition will draw out the best from all players. As companies learn how to survive, innovate and become relevant in the market through competition, they become more efficient and competitive,” the Trade chief said.

According to him, DTI supports an open market as this benefits companies by allowing access to bigger markets and increasing the scale of their production, noting that free movement of goods also benefits consumers as more choices for goods and services become available.

He likewise said that a competitive environment for businesses ensures that goods and services of higher quality will be available at lower prices that would protect the purchasing power of consumers while also encouraging innovation among firms.

“To boost industries’ competitiveness, DTI is building an innovation ecosystem, embracing Industry 4.0 technologies, and using these new technologies to become more innovative and more competitive. We are supporting industries — especially micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) — in their shift towards digital transformation and providing information and resources on technological advancements in trade and services,” Lopez pointed out.

He maintained that the project is part of the Inclusive Innovation Industrial Strategy (i³S) to grow innovative and globally competitive manufacturing, agriculture and services industries, while strengthening MSME linkages in the domestic and global value chains.

“Our adherence to the principles of competition also applies to the government policies we make, as well as policy reforms we institute. These will provide additional incentives for both domestic and foreign enterprises, which would enhance their competitiveness,” the Trade chief noted.



“Our adherence to the principles of competition also applies to the government policies we make, as well as policy reforms we institute. These will provide additional incentives for both domestic and foreign enterprises, which would enhance their competitiveness,” the Trade chief noted.

He said that with the Philippine participation in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership or RCEP Agreement, it will not only benefit the country through tariff liberalization leading to increased competition and trade, but also by attracting investments.

“We also ensured that RCEP is molded as a supporting mechanism for the updated Philippine Development Plan for 2017-2022, as well as the country’s industry roadmaps. This is a means to promote not only the economic growth of our key industries, but also the development and participation of our MSME in the global value chains,” he said.

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Article and Photo originally posted by Tribune last February 23, 2021 3:10am and written by Raffy Ayeng.