THE newly-elected president of Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) wants to connect all members of the chamber in one mobile application that will allow them do to business with each other.
CCCI president Virgilio Espeleta said this will be one of his programs during his one-term stint that would address the supply-chain issues of member companies at the same time lessen the dependency of companies on foreign importation.
“We want to enhance the value creation of our member companies so they could produce higher-value services,” said Espeleta, adding he wants Cebu to shift into a production-based economy from a consumption-driven one.
Espeleta admitted he was alarmed by the recent Opascor findings that out of the 100 container vans that enter into the country, only 30 vans are shipped out with goods in them while the remaining 70 containers are empty.
According to Espeleta, this just shows that we have a trade imbalance in favor of more imports that exports.
The Philippines posted a record trade deficit of $41.44 billion in 2018 as imports surged.
Last year, merchandise exports declined 1.8 percent to $67.49 billion from $68.71 billion in 2017.
On the other hand, imports jumped 13.4 percent to $108.93 billion last year from 2017’s $96.09 billion.
This wider trade deficit had resulted in a ballooning current-account deficit as more dollars were being spent for importation.
Espeleta said that by linking local businesses with one another this would somehow lessen the companies importation activities as they will turn to their fellow member companies to source their requirements.
“This business to business for inclusive growth (B2Big) will inspire all member companies to buy from each other. They shall be part of each other’s supply chain,” said Espeleta.
He said they shall make use of a mobile app that will serve as a marketplace for member companies to showcase their products and transact business.
“This specific app will help us grow business from within,” he said.
Moreover, Espeleta said he will continue the programs laid by his predecessors particularly on business mentorship, among others.
“We will continue our weekly business clinics but this will depend on the areas of concern of our member companies,” he said.
CCCI has more than 800 member companies.