TRADE Secretary Fred Pascual emphasized the significance of sustainable development in the shared efforts of the Philippine industry to attain inclusive growth for all, during the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (Finex) Inaugural Meeting and Induction with a theme “Forging Ahead: Accelerating Inclusive and Sustainable Growth” held on January 23, 2023.

“Our premise is that to build a more competitive economy, we must enable inclusive and sustainable industrial development. Science, technology, and innovation (STI) define DTI’s industrialization policy,” Pascual said.

STI is essential in transforming Philippine industries, allowing them to be more competitive in domestic and export markets. With the promotion of a globally competitive industry, generating more jobs will pave the way for the achievement of shared prosperity for all, he added.

Pascual also mentioned that to facilitate industrial transformation, the Philippines focuses on four industrial clusters that are also seen as sources of growth: Industrial, Manufacturing, and Transport (IMT); Technology, Media, and Telecommunication (TMT); Health and Life Science (HLS); and Modern Basic Needs and Resilient Economy (MBNRE).

These clusters will allow the country to upgrade, diversify, and reposition its Global Value Chain (GVC) participation.

Alongside its aim to promote GVC participation, advancing sustainable development will also require a transition to renewable energy sources.

Being a part of the global community, the current administration recognizes the need to prioritize climate change mitigation. Hence, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s recent State Visit to China focused on gathering investment pledges in the field of renewable energy (RE).

Aside from this, DTI’s aim to strengthen the role of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) has become more evident with the strategic initiatives of upgrading, upskilling, and upsizing MSMEs by launching Negosyo Centers that serve as mentoring hubs for MSMEs.

In terms of financial assistance, DTI, in partnership with the Small Business Corporation (SBCorp), has launched Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) to assist small enterprises in their recovery from the effects of the pandemic.

The department is also keen on ushering the digital transformation of MSMEs, enabling them to reduce operational costs and reach larger markets.

"With these strategic directions and initiatives, the DTI is positioned to contribute to accelerating inclusive and sustainable growth. In attaining the government’s industrial transformation agenda, we will rely on active collaboration among government, industry, academic and training community, and development partners," said Pascual.

With this, he acknowledged the importance of continuous collaboration between various sectors of the society to accelerate inclusive development.

He also stressed the importance of connecting communities to widen the network of our industries by connecting them to broader ecozones and logistic hubs. Diversifying trade centers across the country will allow more balanced growth for urban and rural communities. The establishment of Regional Inclusive Innovation Centers (RIICs) will ensure that industrial development will reach the grassroots.

The Finex Inaugural Meeting and Induction was also attended by 2023 Finex Foundation Chairman Michael H. Guarin, 2023 Finex president Wilson P. Tan, 2023 Finex Academy chairman Francisco Ed Lim, and former Finex president Jose Jerome R. Pascual III. (PR)