Trade department starts consultations on development of industry road maps

The Trade department launched yesterday the first leg of private sector consultations on developing industry road maps in a bid to align competitiveness goals with the government’s trade and investment strategies.

Industry road maps running to 2030 were solicited yesterday by the agency and the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) as officials unveiled a template for the scheme.

The meeting convened representatives from 92 business groups at the Board of Investments (BoI) headquarters where Ernesto B. Santiago, Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines, Inc. president, was also invited to speak about the sector’s experience on creating and implementing road maps.

“We need a strategic partnership between government and the private sector in crafting and executing industry road maps,” said Adrian S. Cristobal Jr., Trade undersecretary for industry development and trade policy and BoI managing director.

“There is an obvious need to plan the things we do, to chart clear paths in growing agriculture, industry and services to accommodate a growing population in a competitive world,” he continued.

Calls for sector-specific road maps came following recommendations last year from business groups to revive industrial planning activities.

In line with the medium-term scheme of President Benigno S. C. Aquino III, the BoI was restructured to revive the Industry Development Group which will partner with private sector parties interested in coming out with their long-term strategies and tactics.

“The road map is... proposed to be broken into short (2012-2016), medium (2013-2022), and long (2023-2030) term goals and strategies with identified milestones to coincide with the terms of the Philippine Development Plans (PDP) of [each Presidential administration],” read the template distributed to business groups.

Once formulated, the road maps will be used for the following: gather sectoral information that would serve as inputs to the industrial strategy envisioned in the current medium-term PDP (2011-2016); guide the drafting of the Investments Priorities Plan (IPP); aid in defining government positions for trade and investment negotiations; and identify value-chain gaps to guide investments promotion.

The road maps are also proposed to contain seven uniform chapters to establish coherence among the various industry plans.

  • The first chapter will detail the context in which the road map was developed and the methodology used to formulate its contents.
  • The second chapter will then identify the vision, goals, and targets of the industry for the three phases of the road map.
  • The third chapter will lay down strategies and plans of action to achieve the objectives listed in the previous chapter.
  • The fourth chapter will elaborate on the status quo and historical performance of the industry to help the government determine the former’s size, contribution, and economic potential.
  • The fifth chapter will then identify the support programs the industry has received from both the government and private sector. These support mechanisms can include incentives, marketing schemes, research and development, and financing.
  • The sixth chapter will provide a summary of the industry using a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis.
  • Finally, the last chapter will detail recommendations to the government on policies, prioritization of strategies, activities, and implementation.

“The industry themselves will be the drivers of their own road maps,” Mr. Cristobal said, explaining that the private sector, not government, will take the lead in determining what’s best for their businesses.

“[But] We recognize that there are small and medium enterprises out there that can’t afford to spend as much... on industry road maps... There will be funds available for these, as I have already spoken with the World Bank, ADB (Asia Development Bank), and even JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) on these road maps and they’re interested in this project,” he added.

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