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5 key programs are listed by the new DTI chief.

Alfredo Pascual, the new secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), has listed his top priorities for the position.

Pascual stated that his priorities as the new DTI director would be the growth of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), promotion of the manufacturing sector, facilitation of ease of doing business, attracting investments and expanding export markets, and organizational restructuring during the turnover ceremony on Wednesday, which was only broadcast on Friday.

He stated that he sees MSMEs growing from micro to small, small to medium, and medium to huge businesses.

He said that doing so would be made feasible by the adoption of digital technology, innovation, the integration of MSMEs into the supply chain, the growth of local industries, and an increase in their level of competitiveness.

Pascual added that MSMEs are essential in tackling issues with food security in the nation.

He also promised to maintain the DTI programs One Town, One Product, and Shared Service Facility that was started under previous governments.

Pascual stated that he plans to continue the DTI’s Manufacturing Resurgence Program and seek to close supply chain gaps in the local market with regard to the manufacturing sector.

He said that the government would continue to create industry roadmaps and update them for industries that will significantly increase the nation’s ability to create jobs.

Pascual seeks to strengthen the pharmaceutical industry as the pandemic continues to spread over the world.

We’ll also encourage foreign pharmaceutical companies with domestic operations to hire local firms to handle their manufacturing, he added.

In addition, Pascual wants to strengthen the production of semiconductors and electrical products in light of the expansion of data centers and hyper-scalers as well as the global surge of digital activities.

He also underlined Ramon Lopez’s goal of integrating mineral processing in the nation for activities that create value rather than exporting minerals as raw materials.

In addition to becoming an exporter of important minerals, the Philippines can also be a processor of semi-finished and finished goods, he said.

Under his leadership, Pascual stated that the DTI and Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) would work closely to advance government digitization in order to significantly simplify doing business in the nation.

He added that future free trade agreements (FTAs) with other nations and the ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership will be his top goals.

“As you may be aware, the Philippines is the Asean nation with the fewest free trade agreements (FTAs) negotiated with other nations. These agreements will increase foreign investment and diversify the nation’s exports in terms of goods and services and final destination countries, according to Pascual.

He added that in order to streamline the organization and cut down on pointless layers of red tape, “tweaking of the workforce budget may be needed.”

“I ask everyone to rekindle the private sector firms, which are the nation’s growth engines. Run alongside me as I establish the momentum, not in a 100-meter sprint, but in a sustained marathon of swords facing a multi-kilometer run challenge to revive the Philippine economy and fortify the industries recovering from the devastation of the two-year pandemic and other uncertainties we are currently facing, Pascual said.

He also expressed gratitude to Lopez for establishing a “sterling legacy” within the division.

The six years Lopez was in charge of the DTI from 2016 to 2022, he claimed, were “the best six of his career” because he felt he provided “valuable service” to the Filipino people.

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