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DTI identifying PH exporters to join online Asian trading platform
Tuesday, 05 December 2017

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has partnered with the Pan-Asian e-Commerce Alliance (PAA), a group of value-added service providers from 11 Asian economies, to include Philippine exporters in a business-to-business (B2B) electronic marketplace created by the alliance.

DTI is currently building the Philippine listing of reliable exporters who will become part of a business matching cooperation as sellers of Filipino export products and services on an online trading platform, said DTI's Bureau of Small and Medium Enterprise Development director Jerry Clavesillas, in a speech during the recent PAA Fellowship Night in Manila.

This undertaking is a pilot collaboration with Pan Asia Exchange (PAE), a B2B e marketplace created by PAA. Registered Philippine sellers on PAE will initially be matched with buyers from China.

Francis Lopez, president of InterCommerce Network Services, Inc., (INS), PAA's Philippine member company, told PortCalls on the sidelines of the event that they are fast-tracking the finalization of the memorandum of agreement (MOU) to implement PAE. INS is also helping to identify exporters for the listing.

Clavesillas said the "signing of the MOU will be a symbolic big step towards realizing the vision of the marketplace to increase the visibility of the MSMEs in the global market."

He noted that DTI has been forwarding the agenda, anchored on the MSME Development Plan 2017-2022, to develop a more globally competitive, regionally integrated, highly sustainable, productive, and dynamic MSME sector.

PAE, he said, is a tool for promoting local traders' products on the global market and "thereby contributing to the growth of Philippine exports."

PAA had actually soft-launched PAE in 2015, but Lopez said the system is being re-designed to provide more than just business-matching.

The new platform will have two levels-one for microenterprises selling locally to bigger companies, and the other for traders selling abroad.

Lopez noted that the platform will be easy to use. By simply registering and providing some details, companies and traders can already connect to the marketplace. About 300 companies that have been using the original platform since 2015 will be migrated to the new platform, Lopez said.

A Chinese partner of PAA, China International Electronic Commerce Center (CIECC), is already looking for potential buyers of Philippine products in China. CIECC, an agency under China's Ministry of Commerce that facilitates international cooperation and exchange in electronic commerce with other countries, will also be putting up a bonded warehouse in China for storing Philippine products to make them easily available to Chinese buyers.

Lopez noted that this model is already being done in other countries to speed up deliveries.

The Chinese partner can also help re-label Philippine products to add "a local flavor" and attract more local buyers, as well as do promotions such as exhibits and trade fairs.

PAE will also be deployed in other Asian countries, initially in places where there are PAA partners.

Aside from PAE, PAA also has 1Trade.Exchange, another online platform for cross-border trade and logistics, and Buyer Recruitment for MSME sellers. Lopez said that in 1Trade.Exchnage, users can exchange trading documents such as bill of lading, invoice, and packing list.

The idea, he said, is that users can store, use, and re-use their trading documents for cross-border transactions without the need to input or upload the same document all over again with every transaction.

1Trade.Exchange was launched in Malaysia last September and will be introduced next in Thailand and Indonesia. In the Philippines, the target launch is by the third quarter of next year.

PAA aims to promote and provide secure, trusted, reliable and value-adding IT infrastructure and facilities to enhance seamless trade globally. PAA's current members include CAT of Thailand, CIECC of China, CrimsonLogic of Singapore, Dagang Net of Malaysia, INS of the Philippines, KTNET of South Korea, NACCS of Japan, TEDMEV of Macao, Tradelink of Hong Kong, Trade-Van of Taiwan, and PT EDI-I of Indonesia.

Combined customer base of the PAA members now exceeds 340,000 organizations, representing almost all active trading enterprises in the Asian market.

The group's current key priority area is digitalization, as PAA is well positioned to play a key role in this area with its work in driving frictionless cross-border trade. -- www.portcalls.com