The Department of Trade and Industry said Thursday the Philippines needs to address a string of cost frictions that is almost half of its export potential or about $20 billion.
It said the country has unrealized trade potential of $49 billion.
Trade assistant secretary Glenn Peñaranda said in a keynote speech at the launch of the Philippines Quality for Trade Platform the cost frictions are lack of information and difficulty complying with rules and regulations in the target market, among others.
He said the efficient and effective transfer of quality-related know-how to MSMEs would help address the bottlenecks to trade.
“The Q4T was developed by ITC in collaboration with the export marketing Bureau EMB of the DTI to serve as a gateway for Philippine exporters to access relevant information pertaining to quality requirements for priority products in targeted markets, obtain guidance in quality related topics, share best practices, connect with relevant institutions and individuals who can offer assistance and gain insights from successful exporters,” he said.
The DTI in collaboration with the International Trade Centre launched Thursday Q4T to help Philippine enterprises comply with market access requirements, standards and customer demands while remaining cost competitive.
Q4T is a four-year project funded by the EU, with the DTI as the lead implementing agency with other key government agencies as implementing partners, including the Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Customs, the Department of Science and Technology and the private sector.
The platform will be implemented under the ARISE Plus program with the DTI and the DA in the lead. ARISE Plus Philippines aims to foster inclusive economic growth in the Philippines through improved international trade performance and competitiveness as well as economic integration.
Based on ITC’s surveys on non-tariff measures, the specific challenges often encountered by Philippine businesses include Insufficient or unclear understanding as to what quality requirements and standards are required to access specific markets; insufficient knowledge and skills related to how to comply with such requirements; lack of internal quality assurance and control; and lack of awareness of/access to testing and certification services.
Q4T was developed to serve as a one-stop-shop allowing users, including Philippine exporters, to discover relevant quality requirements for priority products in targeted markets, obtain guidance on quality-related topics, share best practices, connect with relevant institutions or individuals who can offer assistance and gain insight from those who have already experienced success.
The program intends to correct the mismatch between product characteristics and consumer preferences by training a first batch 21 quality champions from the public and private sectors who will be mentored by a team of international experts on using tools and techniques for ensuring quality and food safety in a business, particularly the requirements of international markets.