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European Union-Philippines Trade Conference highlights the need of going green for small businesses

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MANILA, 6 December — As part of the EU-DTI Arise Plus Philippines project, the first European Union (EU)-Philippines Conference on green transition and trade was held in Manila during the ongoing National Exporters’ Week.

Under the theme, ‘The Green Transition: Opportunities and Challenges for Philippine MSMEs’, the discussions at the conference highlighted the importance and impact of ‘going green’ for Philippine micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) exporting to the EU.

International and national experts and practitioners raised awareness on the new agenda for sustainable growth of the EU, also called the ‘Green Deal’ during various sessions.

The event provided an introduction to the circular economy, deforestation-free products and carbon adjustment. Discussions focussed on the opportunities and challenges this Green agenda entails for Philippine exporters and MSMEs.

“Having this “Green Deal” session is an opportunity for the Philippine MSMEs to be informed of the importance of sustainable production in enabling them to access more diverse and high-value markets, especially the EU,” DTI-Trade Promotions Group (TPG) Assistant Secretary Glenn G. Peñaranda said.

Philipp Dupuis, Minister Counsellor, Head of the Economic and Trade Section, Delegation of the EU to the Philippines speaking on the occasion, said : “Conferences like the one today are essential to inform exporters in our partner countries about what the Green Deal is and how it can affect the requirements of their EU business partners have towards them”.

Rajesh Aggarwal, Director Division of Market Development, International Trade Centre, ARISE’s main implementer, said: “This conference will pave the way for enabling Philippine SMEs to become export competitive and make their mark in international trade. We are grateful to be part of this initiative from the EU and DTI”

As part of the efforts to mainstream and support women entrepreneurs, the event also officialised the institutionalization of the ITC-DTI SheTrades Hub in the Philippines.

“With the institutionalization of the SheTrades Philippines Hub, the DTI-Export Marketing Bureau will work with ITC to further strengthen our country’s efforts in promoting women’s economic empowerment and lower or eliminate the barriers faced by women entrepreneurs, at home and internationally, to foster a more inclusive and sustainable economic growth,” DTI- TPG Assistant Secretary Peñaranda added.

About Arise Plus Philippines

With an allocation of 5.8 million euro, the European Union-funded ARISE Plus Philippines helps Philippine exporters take advantage of EU market access and of the trade privileges granted under the Generalized System of Preference (GSP+). ARISE promotes awareness of new trade opportunities in the private sector in the Philippines, but also helps local MSMEs upgrade their production processes to meet international quality standards. In this way, the project supports the overall EU-Philippines trade relationship and trade-related policies by improving trade performance of the Philippines and fostering inclusive economic growth.

ARISE Plus Philippines is a project of the EU and the Government of the Philippines, with the Department of Trade and Industry as the lead partner. Other government agencies involved are the Department of Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration, Bureau of Customs and the Department of Science and Technology. The International Trade Centre (ITC) is the technical agency supporting the project’s implementation.

About National Exporters’ Week (NEW)

The National Exporters’ Week is an annual event led by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through the Export Marketing Bureau (EMB), in partnership with the Export Development Council (EDC) and the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT). Presidential Proclamation 931, series of 1996 and House Resolution No.33 declared the first week of December as the Exporters’ Week in order to obtain total commitment of the government and the private sector to continuously work together to sustain export promotion and development.

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