WEF gives PH platform to advance ASEAN chairship
Trade chief convenes bilateral talks to economic leaders
The Philippines’ participation to the World Economic Forum (WEF) provides the country a valuable international platform to trumpet its positive economic gains and prospects, the certain path towards greater reforms, the growth-enabling measures under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte and the focal role that the Philippines will play as chair of ASEAN 2017.
“The WEF is a very opportune avenue to advance current thrusts of the new Philippine Government, and also as it chairs ASEAN, which also celebrates its 50th milestone anniversary this year,” said Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez.
Sec. Lopez, the only Philippine government representative to the WEF, which started 18 January, is scheduled to participate in various WEF sessions, as well as to engage in bilateral meetings with economic ministers at the margins of the Forum.
The trade chief participated actively in ASEAN-focused meetings Shaping the Future of ASEAN Production, ASEAN at 50 (what’s next?) and the ASEAN Regional Strategy Group Meeting. Current trends in production and industrial revolution 4.0 are pressing topics as they may impact job creation.
“What is happening is transformation of the nature of jobs to more high skilled levels that would also have bearing on the education reform needed in each country,” Sec. Lopez said. It is also a common observation that production 4.0 may not yet be applicable in all countries nor all areas in each country.
The DTI chief added that the challenge is on how to ensure inclusive innovation that maximizes newer technologies that lead to higher productivity and incomes for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) even in countryside.
Sec. Lopez is also scheduled to join the informal ministerial meeting of Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) that will be chaired by director general Roberto Azevedo to discuss possible outcomes for the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires in December.
Sec. Lopez also participated in the session on The New Vision for Agriculture (building and strengthening multi-stakeholder partnerships), where he shared President Duterte's programs to strengthen agribusiness and higher value-adding agricultural products to increase farmers’ income.
The importance of technology in agriculture and inclusive business models, access to finance and market access thru digital technology were highlighted by the trade chief during the forum. Read More