Firms urged to immediately start digital transformation

Companies are encouraged to immediately kick-start digital transformation to achieve business goals amidst the Fourth Industrial Revolution, also known as Industry 4.0.

Rafaelita Aldaba, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary for Competitiveness and Innovation, said the country should adopt new technologies to strengthen competitiveness and sustainability of local industries.

“We need to innovate, we need to integrate the digital economy, join industry clusters and deepen our global collaboration. Companies must begin digital transformation as soon as possible,” she said during the manufacturing summit.

Aldaba also underscored the importance of having a carefully crafted industry support scheme that is “time-bound, targeted, transparent, and performance-based” given the need to attract investments that will bring in new technologies.

“And encourage existing firms to upgrade and move up the value chain, innovate their skill and upskill their workforce, invest more in R & D (research and development), as well as to promote startup development,” she said.

Industry 4.0 is disrupting production processes and business models among firms, supply chains within industries, and value chains across the globe. In the Philippines, most industries are still transforming from Industry 2.0 and 3.0, with some taking steps towards digitalization and smart manufacturing.

Aldaba said the country is witnessing the entry of disruptive technologies, such as artificial intelligence, robotics, Internet of Things, blockchain, among others, arising from Industry 4.0.

She added it is thus imperative to implement the government’s inclusive innovation industrial strategy (i3S) considering domestic factors and global developments.

i3S aims to grow and develop globally competitive and innovative industries with strong forward and backward linkages.

For his part, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez affirmed “we are committed to supporting firms, industries, especially SMEs (small and medium enterprises) as they transition to Industry 4.0, we are formulating policies and programs to increase productivity by adopting these new technologies that would enable inclusive and sustainable industrial development.”

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