The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), through the Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) and in partnership with the E-Commerce Office (ECO), conducted an online information session on Cross-Border B2C E-Commerce on 17 August 2022. The webinar was attended by more than 100 participants from both the public and private sectors.
The activity aimed to empower small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through capacity building and enhancing their awareness of the importance of cross-border e-Commerce. The event also promoted opportunities for Filipino exporters hoping to penetrate the international market via e-Commerce.
“As our country continues to recover from the pandemic, e-Commerce remains to be the catalyst towards economic recovery and growth,” Director Christopher Lawrence Arnuco said in his opening remarks.
Ms. Wea Bohol, Officer-in-charge of the E-Commerce Office, provided budding entrepreneurs with the government mechanism to help SMEs navigate the digital market. Mr. Rey Lugtu, Founder and CEO of Hungry Workhorse, shared essential insights and current trends on cross-border e-Commerce, as well as a practical perspective to enable businesses to succeed.
Mr. Lugtu highlighted the need to update websites, strengthen the presence of entrepreneurs in social media, explore marketplaces in new geographies, and the importance of creating products and services for millennials and Gen Z.
“E-commerce is not limited to physical products. Services is one area where Filipino companies could expand their business beyond the Philippines,” Mr. Lugtu added.
The session also featured the success story of Cambio and Co., an e-Commerce fashion platform that carries unique accessories designed and handcrafted by Filipino artisans to markets like Canada and the US. Its CEO, Ms. Gelaine Santiago, shared her experience as a businesswoman and advocated for e-commerce. She aims to dispel the colonial mindset that ‘imported is better’ through her business model and campaign #WearYourHeritage.
There is a largely untapped opportunity from cross-border e-commerce for Filipino SMEs. According to Google, Temasek, and Bain, Southeast Asia’s Internet economy is expected to triple from US$100B to US$300B in 2025. Meanwhile, the survey by Amazon Global Selling in 2021 showed that the Philippines has the highest percentage of domestic e-commerce sellers at 70.02 percent, compared to other ASEAN countries.