5 April 2016

Philippine MSMEs asked to embrace e-commerce

The Department of Trade and Industry of the Philippines is urging the micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) to venture into e-commerce to expand market reach.

E-commerce is a means to “connect domestic industry with the global economy” said Trade and Industry Undersecretary Prudencio Reyes, Jr. The Philippine E-Commerce Outlook 2018 projects that the e-commerce industry will grow by 101.4% by 2018, up from US$1.15 billion in 2013.

The country’s growing Internet population with an estimated growth of 530% over the past five years is significant component to the e-commerce industry. Out of the country’s 101.1 million population, 44% are active Internet users, 42% are active social media users, 113% have mobile connections; and 36% are active mobile users.

Philippine e-commerce sales reached Php79 billion or 0.6% of the country’s total income in 2012. More than 76.2% or Php 60.17 billion was contributed to the services sector, which includes transport and storage, administrative and support service activities, and wholesale retail trade.

The National Capital Region ranks first in terms of e-commerce sales at Php62.31 billion, followed by the Central Visayas and Western Visayas.

Janette Toral, founder of Digital Filipino, said MSMEs are stakeholders in the Philippine E-Commerce Roadmap (PECR; PDF). "Your participation makes you a party/stakeholder to this roadmap, it is a document all of us to own as public and private sectors” she said.

PECR 2016-2020 is a blueprint to address issues in the country’s e-commerce ecosystem with '6Is' being key focus areas as highlighted in the APEC Digital Prosperity Checklist (doc):

Infrastructure: The need for an appropriate supply chain, communications, and applications infrastructure; 
Investment: The ability to promote and support a range of investment opportunities from foreign direct investments to capital flows; 
Innovation: The ability to foster and support innovation, including the ability to protect innovation and investment in research and development; 
Intellectual capital: The ability to foster the appropriate skills and training from technological to linguistic to entrepreneurship; 
Information flows: The ability to use, transfer, and process information — the currency of the digital economy — while promoting privacy and a trusted Internet environment; and 
Integration: The ability to connect domestic industries with the global economy.