On 25 January 2024, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Women’s Business Council Philippines, Inc. (WomenBizPh) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote awareness on the benefits of free trade agreements (FTAs), such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement, with the end view of increasing the country’s utilization of these preferential arrangements.
DTI Secretary Pascual lauded the support of WomenBizPH on the Department’s trade education and advocacy campaign.
“Our MOU is a tangible step toward creating globally competitive and innovative industries in our county. By intensifying our trade education and advocacy efforts, we hope to prepare our stakeholders better and fully inform business owners and entrepreneurs about the opportunities these trade agreements and other preferential arrangements present”, said Secretary Pascual.
Under the MOU, WomenBizPh will collaborate with DTI in the conduct of information and education campaigns which will include capacity-building workshops and mentorship programs.
According to Mylene Abiva, Chairperson of WomenBizPH, the collaboration with DTI marks a significant milestone as the Philippines embarks on a journey to promote women economic empowerment.
WomenBizPh has always been the DTI’s partner in empowering women in the Philippines especially in the aspect of business. Composed of the Philippines’ top women business leaders and entrepreneurs, the partnership is strategic in DTI’s efforts to promote the utilization of FTAs and other preferential trade arrangements. The organization’s enthusiasm is also reflected by their designation as “Women Ambassadors of RCEP”.
Based on Grant Thornton’s 2023 Women in Business (WIB) report, nearly half or 49% of senior management roles are held by women, thus making the partnership ideal in bringing awareness to the stakeholders on the value and importance of FTAs.
With the entry into force of the RCEP on 02 June 2023 and the signing of the Philippines-South Korea FTA last 07 September 2023, the partnership is timely to promote the country’s FTAs and maximize the opportunities secured in these trade agreements.