Transitioning of businesses to the digital space has become inevitable with almost all transactions now being done much easier through the use of digital technology.
The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, whose membership across the country comprised majority of SMEs welcomed the partnership with USAID for its Strengthening Private Enterprise for the Digital Economy (SPEED) Project.
“Thank you for this opportunity to be a part of a project and an alliance to make digital inclusion a reality for all Filipinos. Through this effort we can accelerate progress in advancing digital technology and deliver on the promise of digital inclusion,” PCCI President George T. Barcelon said at the USAID-SPEED Project launch held on Wednesday (Jan. 11).
The USAID-SPEED is a five-year project that seeks to mobilize the digital economy for enterprise-led development and expand the participation of the SMEs in the digital world.
It has four main objectives: to improve SME capacity and access to e-commerce platforms; expand and increase the use of e-payment systems and other Fintech innovations; improve the integration of e-commerce platforms with logistical supply chains, and increase consumer awareness protection.
The project will receive funding of $18 million or Php1 billion for five years, according to United States Ambassador to the Philippines Mary Kay Carlson.
Barcelon underscored the importance of digital technology and innovation in order for the Philippines to achieve a better quality of life for all. “The greater challenge now is to ensure that this technology becomes readily available to everyone,” he added.
Barcelon shared that PCCI, through its Committee on Digital Economy and Innovation and Science and Technology, is now working with the DICT to make technology available to geographically isolated, disadvantaged areas in the country.
PCCI has also established partnerships with the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP)’s Project SPARTA to train 30,000 individuals on data analytics; with Start-up Village and Philippine Young Entrepreneurs Association to help MSMEs digitize; and, an agreement with Zeald, a website design and digital transformation company on the provision of e-commerce, lead generation websites, chatbots, integration, automation, training, and digital marketing for MSMEs.