Davao exporters to help SMEs grow

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/16 April)—Exporters in the Davao Region will find ways to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) grow their business, Ferdinand Marañon, president of the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PhilExport) Region 11, said on Monday.

He said there will be an investment conference on June 24-25 where SMEs will raise their issues and problems that hinder their growth, while the exporters will discuss solutions how they can effectively help them.

The confab will be officially announced during PhilExport-11’s first general membership meeting on April 19 at the Grand Regal Hotel, which will also be a venue to directly address the major economic and industrial development issues currently facing the region’s exporters, Marañon said.

He said it is important for owners of SMEs to attend the meeting as it will discussed the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) National Industry Cluster Capacity Enhancement Project (NICCEP).

Merly Cruz, DTI undersecretary for regional operations and development group, was expected to attend the event.

Marañon said the NICCEP, which is a three-year project, “aims to enhance the capacity of selected industry clusters to plan, implement, facilitate service delivery, evaluate projects and improve industry competitiveness and business environment.”

He added that the project is an offshoot of the Davao Industry Cluster Capacity Enhancement Project (DICCEP) implemented alongside with the Japan International Cooperation Agency from 2007 to 2010.

“The DICCEP was highly evaluated as one of the best practices of industry cluster enhancement activities in the Philippines, which triggered the interest of the DTI to embark its replication nationwide through the NICCEP,” PhilExport-11 said in a press statement.

Marañon also said that the signing of amended Memorandum of Agreement on the One-stop Export Documentation Center (OSEDC) will be witnessed by the general membership in the meeting on Friday.

He said the OSEDC, which is a professional facilitation center, will be convenient for exporters because it will lessen the processing steps, instead of bringing their documents to five or six offices.

Government agencies housed under the OSEDC include the Bureau of Customs, DTI, Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Philippine Coconut Authority. (Lorie Ann A. Cascaro/MindaNews)