Foster innovation, level up, MSMEs told

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez is urging the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to foster innovation in their products and level up, amid expectation that the global economy will start to pick up.

“Aside from making sure that contents and the quality of the products are perfect, the packaging represents the product very well because as we always say, you’re not always there every day to sell your product. The packaging has to represent well your products in the shelves,” he said.

Lopez said the department sees there are exhibits that do not present the products “very well”, thus underscoring the importance of integrating the packaging and the manufacturing.

“Innovation is the key and this is what we’ve been trying for our MSME to really acquire. Technology is inputted, and innovation is already included,” he said.

The trade chief further said they intend to create smarter and innovative MSMEs which are deemed backbone of the economy, accounting for 99.6 percent of all enterprises, 70 percent of the employment, and 30 to 35 percent of value-added.

“We want them to contribute more than 37 percent value added to the economy. Our ambition is to bring them higher than 40 percent because that is where we always connect value added to income. So, we see MSMEs contribute much more total income we can have a sense that MSMEs are gaining prosperity,” he added.

Lopez said the Philippines economy, Asia’s second fastest, grew 5.9 percent in 2019 despite challenges.

“But this year, challenges will not be a long term. We will be able to resolve this virus. The US-China is improving already. We hope that the global economy will start to pick up. Manufacturing starts to grow again (at) a much faster rate. We’re hitting usually about 4 to 5-percent growth,” he said.

Lopez further said there are now 1.5 million registered companies in the country from just 900,000 about three years ago.

“Before 2022, we want to see more than 2 million registered firms as many of these companies innovate and just continue to grow,” he added.

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