February 9, 2023

USAID, the principal US government agency to extend assistance to countries, launched a P1 billion digitalization program that aims in order to digitally transform 30, 000 small micro and medium enterprises (MSMEs) over a five-year period.

US Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Carlson announced the $18 million (P1 billion) fund during the public launch of the USAID Strengthening Private Enterprise for the particular Digital Economy (SPEED) on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023.

“SPEED signals the US government’s strong commitment to supporting the Philippine government’s vision of a digital Philippines, ” said Carlson.

USAID SPEED is a new project that will enable Philippines MSMEs to participate safely, reliably, and competitively in the country’s emerging e-commerce ecosystem.

The five-year project aims to help build an inclusive, market-driven, growth-expanded, and private sector-led digital economy for the Philippines where e-commerce sales is expected to reach $25 billion by 2025 from $22. 95 billion in 2023.

“Our goal is to change that least at least 30, 000 SMEs across the country, their operational efficiency, productivity and sales, plus by expanding their opportunities to grow into more mature and bigger enterprises, ” said Carlson.

In five years, Carlson said, “We plan to create a robust digital environment, where electronic payments and logistics networks are pervasive and interoperable, allowing enterprises and customers nationwide in order to conduct seamless e commerce transactions. ”

Carlson also announced the particular launch from the Philippine e Commerce Alliance, a broad-based private sector led coalition of business organizations technology companies plus business upon onto businesses that will advocate with regard to E business development, including policy reforms and self-regulation best practices that will allow the establishment of an inclusive digital economy within the Philippines.

Under the SPEED project, USAID will certainly continue to work with the Philippine authorities and personal sector partners, including technologies experts and innovators to create an efficient and interoperable logistics plus digital payments ecosystem and to assist in the organization of domestic and cross border trade processes to promote inclusive company development plus increase SME participation in global value chains.

The SPEED will assist the DTI to achieve its goal on the onboarding 1000s of SMEs in to the various digital platforms. The USAID will furthermore assist the particular Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to reach the target associated with 50 percent electronic payment transactions in 2023 and higher e obligations uptake inside the succeeding years.

In addition , the US agency may explore collaboration with other federal government agencies such as the Department of Agriculture in order to expand agribusiness ecommerce and help address challenges in agriculture supply chains.

“We will strengthen partnerships with the private sector to drive innovation and create market-oriented solutions to unlock the particular vast potential of the digital economy, ” she added.

The US Ambassador further asked everyone present to work together to realize the particular vision associated with a future where electronic technology increases productivity, encourages innovation promotes inclusive growth. catalyzes economic development, creates job opportunities and empowers all which includes, and especially the most vulnerable as friends, partners plus allies.

Meantime, DTI Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual said the Nueva Viscaya Agricultural Terminal Inc. (NVAT) has been identified as pilot site in the implementation of end-to-end web commerce platform under the USAID SPEED.

In a speech at the public launch, Pascual expressed hope that will USAID SPEED include NVAT for technical support toward digitalized supply chains and effective logistics through farm to fork.

“NVAT serves bulk of the Cagayan Valley Region’s vegetable requirements, as well as Luzon and Metro Manila, ” Pascual pointed out.

With VELOCITY, Pascual said USAID can be DTI’s partner in empowering small and medium corporations through digital transformation.

He said that one of DTI’s strategic actions is to upgrade, upskill, plus upsize MSMEs. Key in DTI’s support in order to scale MSMEs is to help them overcome constraints to their access to technology.

“We aim in order to enable MSMEs to embrace digital change. This way, I believe DTI and SPEED’s directions to enhance SME capacities align, ” he stated.

Pascual explained that when digitalized, tiny small and medium companies (MSMEs) can operate more efficiently, reduce costs, reach larger markets, plus earn a lot more profits. For example , digital systems of enterprises can accumulate cashflow data on sales, use enterprise data regarding credit scoring, and provide entry to cashflow-based credit. “But digitalizing SMEs is different from digitalizing businesses of other sizes. And this is where the appropriateness of SPEED’s initiatives becomes relevant, ” he added.

To further support MSMEs’ digitalization, DTI is working with the particular Department of Information and Communications Technology to develop a free ecommerce platform.

“This should assist MSMEs pivot from offline to online. And it may serve business-to-business(B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C)functions intended for MSMEs, ” said Pascual.

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