U.S. Launches Php 1 Billion E-Commerce Project to Support Digitalization of Filipino SMEs
Manila, January 17, 2023—On January 11, the United States government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), launched a five-year, one billion pesos (US$18 million) partnership with the Philippine government to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) grow Transition to help mature e-commerce companies.
The Strengthening Private Enterprises for the Digital Economy (SPEED) project will expand the participation of Filipino SMEs in the country’s emerging e-commerce ecosystem by improving their ability to adopt digital technologies; Supporting the integration of SMEs and e-commerce platforms into logistic supply chains; increasing the use of e-payment systems and other fintech innovations; and increasing consumer awareness and protection.
SPEED supports the US government’s goal of helping the Philippines build a resilient, secure and resilient digital economy as key to fostering the country’s post-pandemic recovery and long-term economic growth.
“As we all know, COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the way we do things and accelerated the shift towards e-commerce, digital platforms and the digital economy of the post-pandemic world,” said Ambassador Carlson at the Launch event attended by Minister of Trade and Industry (DTI), Alfredo Pascual, Governor of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Felipe Medalla, and partners from government and private sector. “SPEED signals the U.S. government’s strong commitment to support the Philippine government’s vision of a digital Philippines.”
“The key to helping DTI scale MSMEs is helping them overcome limitations in their access to technology. Our goal is to enable MSMEs to embrace digital transformation. In this way, I believe the directions of DTI and USAID to enhance SME capabilities are aligned,” said DTI Secretary Pascual. In his remarks, he also highlighted DTI’s support for the development of the government’s E-Commerce Adoption Platform and its planned Supply Chain Digitalization Project, which aims to digitize logistics and supply chains across the country.
“BSP is optimistic that the SPEED programs will continue to support BSP’s Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap goal of converting at least 50 percent of retail payment transactions to digital form by the end of 2023,” noted BSP Governor Medalla. “Collaborations and partnerships like these will contribute to a more resilient and stronger Philippine economy that promotes a high quality of life for all Filipinos.”
During the event, private sector partners also launched the Philippine E-Commerce Alliance, led by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Formed with USAID support, this private sector-led coalition will facilitate the development of a national business agenda for digital transformation and inclusion.