Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Shopee launches #TatakPinoy Virtual Trade Fair for Filipino businesses

Manila, Philippines – E-commerce platform Shopee is set to launch #TatakPinoy (Filipino branded) Virtual Trade Fair, a virtual fair aiming to promote Filipino brands and micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). 

The three-day event which is slated for February 19- 21, is in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and sets the stage for shoppers to discover and purchase local delicacies and pasalubong items from Regions XII and IV-A. They can also anticipate products from Filipina-owned businesses, as Shopee and United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) team up to empower local female entrepreneurs.

Amid the lockdown, Shopee helped physical businesses to transition to digital through its Seller Masterclasses and has previously partnered with DTI, USAID, and local government units in the country for initiatives that helped Filipino entrepreneurs gain a basic understanding of e-commerce and digital marketing. 

DTI’s Bureau of Domestic Trade Promotion said in a statement, “The Department of Trade and Industry – Bureau of Domestic Trade Promotion is proud to be a partner for #TatakPinoy on Shopee. This initiative will connect thousands of consumers to more than a hundred MSMEs on one platform. We invite Filipinos from all over the country to patronize and take pride in products that are certified #TatakPinoy from the National Trade Fair Pop-up Store and Go Lokal! Shopee Mall.”

Meanwhile, Martin Yu, Shopee Philippines’ director, commented, “Local brands from microbusinesses to SMEs can all contribute to the Philippine economy’s growth. Considering that most local businesses still can’t promote their products outside of online platforms due to the pandemic, Shopee also wants to create the opportunity to showcase the best Filipino brands.”

During the event, exclusive discounts of up to 10% off on supporting Filipino brands such as Colourette, Vice Cosmetics, and Human Nature will be offered to shoppers.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Universal Robina named top PH processed F&B exporter by DTI

Manila, Philippines – Local food and beverage company Universal Robina Corporation (URC) has been named by the country’s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) as the top exporter of processed foods and beverages in the Philippines.

Based on value transactions recorded by the Philippine Statistical Authority (PSA) for 2019, Universal Robina’s export transactions have reached more than USD 30M for the said  year.

In a press statement, URC Vice President for global exports and frontier markets Brian Go stated that exporters are moving forward despite constraints on trade during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, as more lockdowns are imposed.

“This recognition for our hard work and dedication to our customers is especially meaningful, given the challenges businesses, and our nation as a whole, are facing because of the Covid-19 pandemic,” Go stated.

Universal Robina’s Brian Go, Vice President for Global Exports and Frontier Markets

Furthermore, the recent announcement also aligns with the country’s Export Development Council goals,  to which they stated that ‘export companies navigated their way to adapt to the abrupt digital transformation.’

“We looked at those companies who took their chances by embracing the shift of the changing business landscape towards a post-COVID-19 world…we wanted to hear their stories – their stories of survival, recovery and resilience and what their plans are as the country now moves towards the resurgence phase,” the council said during this year’s National Export Congress.

Universal Robina, through its Exports Group, is distributing their brands such as Jack ‘n Jill snacks, Great Taste instant coffee, and C2 ready-to-drink tea across 38 market countries. 

At present, the Global Export business unit serves nations and territories in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Indian Ocean islands, North Asia, and Oceania, and the Pacific Islands. Its Philippine office also distributes its products to affiliate URC companies in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Malaysia.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

PH trade dep’t reveals 14,869 online purchase complaints this year, led by Shopee, Lazada

Manila, Philippines – With increased online spending during the pandemic also comes a surge of online purchase complaints, and this has been evident in Southeast Asia market The Philippines, with the country’s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) revealing that a total of 14,869 complaints have been made against online shops this year, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.

The complaints were made from the period of January to October this year, where according to DTI Undersecretary for Consumer Protection Group Ruth Castelo, nature of the complaints spanned violations of the Price Act, the quality of products, and deceptive, unfair, or unconscionable sales acts or practices.

Being the top e-commerce sites in the country, Shopee and Lazada were reported to account for the majority of complaints with a combined 6,907 number of flags.

Compared to the full year of 2019, complaints against Lazada grew three-fold from 1,014 to 3,475 complaints for the first 10 months of 2020. Meanwhile, those against Shopee increased over five times, from 607 complaints from the end of 2019, to a total of 3,432 complaints this year.

“Ninety percent of the total online complaints from October 2020 are against two of the more familiar platforms,” said Castelo.

She added the remaining complaints last month involved transactions on Facebook and other online platforms.

In early October, news about a scammed student astounded Filipinos, where a 20-year-old received rocks instead of his ordered laptop.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

PH’s trade department launches Christmas-themed web series to promote local products

Manila, Philippines – The country’s Department of Trade and Industry has rolled out its new Christmas-themed web series on YouTube titled “PASA-LOVE” to highlight various local and regional products in the country.

The web series, which translates to “Share The Love,”is the department’s answer to promote the “Buy Local” campaign, especially as Filipino entrepreneurs are hugely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The “Buy Local” campaign aims to help these entrepreneurs stay afloat by patronizing their products.

“A lot of our countrymen have lost their jobs and their businesses due to the pandemic. Thus, this is the perfect time to let them feel the real spirit of Christmas. Through simple patronization of locally-made products, we can share our love for the country, and show the real definition of unity. Buy local, give local this Christmas,” said Blesila A. Lantayona, DTI’s regional operations group undersecretary.

The “PASA-LOVE” web series premiered last November 3 and has currently released its fourth episode, where the department has already promoted food products from the Cordillera region, locally-made shoes, and sandals from Marikina City, and heritage crafts from the Western Visayas region. More episodes are set to be released on its YouTube channel. 

SME Featured Southeast Asia

GrabPay PH joins agri-eCommerce Mayani to enable farm-to-table for MSMEs in rural Region 2

Manila Philippines – GrabPay, Grab’s e-wallet cashless solution, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Region 2, and fast-growing agri-eCommerce platform, Mayani has announced its tripartite partnership to create broader market access and seamless e-payments solutions to farming communities and agripreneurs across Region 2, or the Cagayan Valley Region of the Philippines.

With the transport of fresh produce being a key challenge throughout the pandemic, farming communities and agripreneurs across the region were left unable to market and sell their fresh produce to a wider customer base, causing an oversupply. Through this partnership, the three parties will work together to promote a safe, seamless, and cashless farm-to-table e-commerce experience to more Filipinos to help boost rural incomes among thousands of farmers, farming communities, and agripreneurs across the Cagayan Valley Region.

With the partnership, Mayani will consolidate and activate a whole range of produce from 4,761 farmers in Region 2 and manage orders through its e-commerce platform with GrabPay as its digital payments solution. Likewise, GrabPay will also be providing wider market access to Mayani’s farming communities through a five-day campaign on the Grab app starting November 5, 2020, and users can also earn GrabRewards points whenever they use GrabPay to shop for fresh produce on-site.

In order to ensure broad inclusivity within the farming communities, DTI Region 2 will facilitate region-wide linkage of Cagayan Valley Region’s farmers cooperatives and agri-MSMEs to the Mayani platform.

“Even in these uncertain times, our mission in Mayani has stayed the same; help thousands of smallholder farmers lead better lives by changing how people buy their food through e-commerce. This partnership is another step in our efforts to bridge the gap between our own agro-entrepreneurs and potential customers in Metro Manila and eventually, all around the nation,” said JT Solis, co-founder, and CEO of Mayani.

Serving as the conduit for facilitating private sector relations with farmer cooperatives, DTI Region 2 will continue to provide the necessary support for tech-enabled, multi-stakeholder initiatives in agro-entrepreneurship. 

“Region 2 has always been known as one of the country’s top food providers, playing an integral role in the food supply chain of millions of Filipinos. Creating better access to quality produce from all around the country continues to be our priority, and we hope to expand our service by replicating the partnership we’ve established here in more areas,” said Leah Pulido Ocampo, DTI Region 2 regional director

Meanwhile, Head of GrabPay Philippines Jonny Bates said that the birth of the partnership comes at a time when many MSMEs are looking to digital means to recover economically.

“Our partnership with DTI Region 2 and Mayani is a wonderful example of how GrabPay can help farmers and farming communities recover from the crisis, and grow sustainably. We’re thankful to have this opportunity to work alongside Mayani and DTI Region 2, and we encourage more farmers,  farming communities, and agripreneurs to continue to embrace digitalization and cashless payments to better serve our kababayans,” said Bates. 

SME Featured Southeast Asia

PH’s IP office launches IP app for MSMEs, partners with DTI

Manila, Philippines – To ensure local reach of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) in the Philippines, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines recently partnered up with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in launching ‘IPOPHL Mobiliz’, the office’s foray into mobile application reach.

Said application allows MSMEs to process intellectual property (IP) documents and requirements for IPOPHL within the app, as recent policy has mandated for all MSMEs to conduct their current IP filings online to ensure safety of stakeholders and its employees.

“Given that many of us spend most of our time on mobile, this development will help IPOPHL reach out to a wider audience and provide a convenient and faster way for securing intellectual property assets and further integrate IP in innovative, creative and entrepreneurial processes,” said IPOPHL director General Rowel S. Barba.

With the launch of the IPOPHL Mobiliz, the office has sought a partnership with DTI through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to further promote IPs amongst the local MSME scene.

“IPOPHL’s efforts in digitalization will make government transactions more accessible and more convenient for all Filipinos. This will be a great gift to the Filipino people, aligned with the vision of the President to make lives more comfortable for our fellow Filipinos,” Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) secretary Ramon M. Lopez stated.