Gov’t banks on e-commerce to boost economy
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) sees e-commerce as an important tool for economic development, highlighting a policy direction that sees the government taking advantage of a rapidly growing business model today, its chief said in a recent speech.
“With the right policies, e-commerce can be the greatest equalizer for access to economic opportunities for our people,” Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual said during the e-commerce congress organized by the DTI and the Philippine Bar Association at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City last week.
He said the private sector and other stakeholders should also work with the government to improve and craft more policies for a balanced environment for e-commerce.
The trade chief also highlighted the growth of the Philippines’ internet economy, which was the fastest in the Southeast Asian region at 93 percent, citing a 2021 study done by Google, Temasek and Bain & Company.
“The same 2021 study acknowledged that this phenomenal growth, despite the challenges of the pandemic and other geopolitical developments, was driven by government initiatives and mass digital adoption during the pandemic lockdowns,” Pascual said.
Citing the same study, Pascual said that the country’s internet economy maintained a double-digit growth during the first part of 2022, at 22 percent, despite local and global challenges.
The trade official said it was projected to grow at an average of 20 percent annually in the next three years.
Pascual said the government intended to make e-commerce transactions in the Philippines as easy as possible, citing the thrust of the updated e-commerce roadmap that they have drawn up.
“It was a bold government promise that e-commerce would be simple and effortless for buyers and sellers,” Pascual said.
The DTI official also emphasized that developing e-commerce is a priority for the government, saying that President Marcos has mentioned that the proposed Internet Transactions Act as one of the administration’s 19 priority legislative bills.
“The bill seeks to develop and maintain a robust e-commerce environment in the country. It also seeks to build trust between online merchants and consumers using secure and reliable e-commerce platforms,” said Pascual.
According to the same Google-Temasek study, the Philippine internet economy was valued at $7.5 billion in 2020, and is projected to grow to $28 billion by 2025.
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