Local traders and manufacturers would have to exert extra efforts to get hitched into the value chain, or stiffer competitions with the free flow of imported goods which would make competition triply tougher.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through it regional industry development division chief Minerva Yap bared to the stakeholders gathered to participate in the dialog for progress set up by the Presidential Communications Office in Cebu recently.
While the free flow of goods and services would trigger the opening of the more goods which widen the range of choices for consumers, Yap also warned, free flow would also characterize services and skilled workers.
Detailing the impacts of the integration of economies under the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), Yap, who spoke of the impacts of the ASEAN economic integration to the Philippine Economy said the signing of the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA) consequently allowed the free flow of goods, services, investments and skilled labor.
AFTA is an agreement between two or more countries to eliminate or reduce tariffs and other requirements of commerce that restrict trade between them.
It also signaled free movement of capital across the region, she said.
On this, she said consumers are the biggest beneficiaries due to access to better quality goods andservices at lower prices as it is also important to focus on the opportunities of Filipino consumers.
But while looking at this, it is also important to safeguard the country’s trade balance, Yap said.
As this went on, the DTI in region 7 has brought to Bohol its Kapatid Mentor Me program (KMMP) to babysit micro small and medium industries into resilience by nurturing them past the critical stages of business.
KMMP is aimed to assist MSMEs scale up and sustain their enterprises by equipping them with the needed skill sets by way of theoretical and conceptual discussions (lectures) and mentoring/coaching sessions, according to DTI.
The Bohol coaching and mentoring program has just finished its 8th module with 26 MSMEs signing in still taking the free negosyo seminar inputs by institutions who have proven themselves to be specialists in their areas of entrepreneurship.
This week, respected accounting consultant and contractor shared to the local entrepreneurs topics on Entrepreneurial Accounting and Financial Management for the 8th mentoring module.
The entrepreneurs had also supply and value chain inputs with Bobby Cabaero, operations management with Boholano business management icon Dominic Butalid in the last two weeks.
DTI Bohol believes strengthening local entrepreneurs allow them to be competitive with the expected surge of products and services which could spell the death or the development micro and small industries. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)