Philippines has the ‘potential to lead the region in IT’, says trade ministry

Philippines has the ‘potential to lead the region in IT’, says trade ministry

The country’s strengths lie in strong social media and e-commerce adoption, high internet usage and a digitally-skilled workforce.

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The Philippines has set a goal to be a future technological leader in Southeast Asia given the growing adoption of digital platforms and e-commerce, the country’s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said at the launch of the Digital Pilipinas Movement.

Backed by the public and private sector, the Digital Pilipinas Movement seeks to enable the country to take advantage of ICT opportunities and address challenges in areas which include fintech, govtech, future of mobility, e-commerce and cyber security.

The movement will introduce a method on how to leverage ICT-driven opportunities and will provide a list of agendas where solutions for the Philippine industry and economic system will be based on.

Citing a recent 2021 Digital Report, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the Philippines remained the top country in terms of social media and internet usage worldwide.

He said e-commerce adoption in the country grew from 70% in 2019 to 76% and to 80.2% this year amid the pandemic.

Online businesses have surged in 2021

“Many online businesses filled the void left by brick-and-mortar businesses affected by the community lockdowns. Online retail, delivery services, online entertainment, digital services, telehealth, work from home arrangements, digital payments—all of these helped us in the past year and continue to do so until now,” he said.

The DTI also saw a shift in preference in the payment method of business name applicants with 67 percent of registration fees paid online.

Through the updated e-commerce roadmap launched earlier this year, the government aims to increase the contribution of e-commerce to the economy.

Under the roadmap, the goal is to increase the number of e-commerce enterprises will grow to a million from 500,000 in 2019.

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