The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez underscored the key role of Philippine companies and designers in attracting more export interests and investments from international trade buyers—leading to more quality jobs and the much-needed inclusive growth in the country.
Lopez said the country’s design-forward products for the home and lifestyle sectors give Filipinos significant edge in the international market in his speech at the Manila FAME Katha Awards at the World Trade Center (WTCMM) and the Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC).
“The [Philippine] designs are indigenous with a modern twist. Design is our unique selling proposition every time we present the Philippines outside the world,” said Lopez, a known champion of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).We are so proud to say that the skill remains a strength of exports in the country. Investors see a bright future for the sector since design is a center of excellence for the Philippines.”
Lopez had earlier identified “design-oriented furniture and garments” as one of the Philippines’ globally competitive industries—capable of generating higher income opportunities for MSMEs, multi-national corporations (MNCs), and other social enterprises.
the over 600 thousand potential customer-base in furniture and home furnishing sectors in the ASEAN region.
local exporters to take advantage of various trade agreements involving the Philippines in winning potential markets,including ASEAN’s free trade agreements (FTAs) with China, Japan, Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand (NZ).
The Philippines is also pushing for a FTA with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), composed of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland, under the Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSPs).
Lopez expressed his gratitude towards local companies, designers, partner agencies, and stakeholders, as well as trade buyers, for their relentless effort in elevating the Philippine design and craftsmanship in the global market.
“Congratulations for keeping the passion—the fire in you to make a much better design. Let us continue it. Year in and out. We are helping the country. We are inspiring more young designers. And we are helping the [administration] of President Rodrigo ‘Roa’ Duterte in elevating the status of the country,” said Lopez.
“Continue to make the lives of all Filipinos great. Uplift them and address inequality through design. You are empowering everyone to succeed in life,” he added.