Following the launch this month of the country’s first Philippine E-Commerce Roadmap (PECR), the government is initiating talks towards its implementation and supporting the establishment of the first local e-commerce club.
In a recent meeting with the E-Commerce Office of the Department of Trade and Industry, online shopping site Zalora Philippines expressed its interest in the formation of an e-commerce club to assist the government in growing e-commerce in the country — one that is conducive to the needs of the consumers and the global market.
The initiative is seen increasing the promotion and collaboration between the government and the private sector but also in opening opportunities for micro-small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the world of online commerce.
The Philippine E-Commerce Roadmap (PECR) is expected to contribute 25 percent to the country’s economy by 2020 and boost trade of more small and medium enterprises in the country.
The five-year industry roadmap is targeting 100,000 MSMEs and 40 to 50 percent of Internet users doing e-commerce in the next five years as it addresses a number of issues in the e-commerce ecosystem that requires collective effort of the various stakeholders.
The PECR presented recommendations in six key areas – infrastructure, investment, innovation, intellectual capital, information flow, and integration.
The roadmap noted that Internet speed, access, reliability and cost remain to be the major obstacles to the widespread use of e-commerce in the Philippines.
Further improvements in the information communications technology (ICT) infrastructure in the country can be achieved by attracting more investments and encouraging competition in telecommunications sector and in the provision of Internet services, particularly in the last-mile connectivity, the roadmap noted.
The roadmap said e-commerce also enables domestic industries and enterprises to integrate into global value chains and to directly access the global market.
An action agenda to globalize MSMEs recently adopted by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) members recognized the important role of ICT and e-commerce to enable small businesses to access the global market directly, in addition to being part of global value chains.
Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (PhilExport) president Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. said e-commerce could boost the competitive advantage of SMEs.
“This is a positive development towards increased competitiveness of exporters, especially MSMEs that will be able to adapt to and adopt the changes. In this context, government and private sector need to work together for capacity building and setting up of the necessary soft and hard infrastructure,” Ortiz-Luis said.
To further strengthen DTI’s role and to contribute to the success of the roadmap, stakeholders are calling for a revival of the E-Commerce Promotion Council composed of government and private sector representatives.