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Exporters gab centers on innovation, collaboration

Key export stakeholders will convene in annual Congress on Dec. 5 to discuss various innovation and collaboration initiatives to ensure exporting success of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), as they work towards achieving a $100-billion revenue goal over the medium term.

Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (PHILEXPORT) President Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. underscored the need for exporters to innovate products and services to penetrate more overseas markets.

"Innovation in products and services is a key to boosting growth and expanding business globally. We have a lot of catching up to do given the impressive performance of some Asian economies," he said.

Stakeholders are working to enhance the innovative capacity of the export sector through an efficient system of national¬ innovation¬ as part of the development strategies of Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP).

Gliceria Camedia, Trade and Industry Development Specialist at the Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB), cited data indicating that businesses have much to gain from employing innovation.

She said these include increased revenue as a result of innovation, along with other benefits such as reduction in operating costs, better customer service, and an improved competitive edge.

"The increased focus on innovation now means there is more help available for MSMEs looking to innovate, with business incubation groups, government centers and other providers offering support and financing assistance," Camedia said.

She underscored the important role of public investment in science and basic research in developing information and communications technology (ICT) and other general-purpose technologies and hence, in enabling further innovation.

Likewise, Camedia said MSMEs can benefit from international collaboration, including sharing and staying abreast of international knowledge, developments and expertise; and establishing networks in export markets.

Meanwhile, over 700 delegates including exporters, business support organizations, policy makers and academe will convene at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City on Dec. 5 for the annual National Export Congress (NEC).

NEC is the highlight of the National Exporters' Week this year, with the theme Innovate. Collaborate. Export! This event aims to promote the culture of innovation and collaboration to increase exports.