Tech, innovation hinges on funding — DBP

Developing and protecting the nation’s technology and innovation spaces is the primary goal of the Marcos administration for the economy to catch up with the rest of the world in the booming digital universe.

Development Bank of the Philippines president and chief executive officer Michael O. de Jesus announced an initiative on Friday to expand funding to startups in “sunrise” industries, especially information and communications technology, to accelerate the country’s economic growth.

“DBP is one with the National Government in filling the financing gap, especially for emerging and so-called sunrise industries heavily anchored on innovation and technology,” said Friday.

The sunrise industries the bank aims to serve include information and communications technology, tourism, health, logistics, and creatives or arts.

The state-owned bank, whose main loan business lies in infrastructure projects, said the move supports the government’s “servification” to raise the quality of various services to consumers as highly convenient, fast, accessible and affordable as possible.

De Jesus said the recently ratified Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership or RCEP would encourage Filipino startups to innovate.

“RCEP makes it imperative for Philippine firms and businesses to enhance its competitiveness, to which DBP can readily provide its resources towards that end.”

RCEP is a free trade agreement that allows the exchange of intellectual property, investments, and other goods and services among the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations —Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Australia, Japan, China, South Korea and New Zealand are other trade partners.

In the Philippines, information and communications technology could expand 8 percent each year, research firm GlobalData says.

In a recent interview with the Daily Tribune, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry president George Barcelon said the local manufacturing industry might also benefit from boosting the production of shoes and textiles.

Aside from fashion, creatives as a sunrise industry include publishing, film, architecture, advertising, digital media, and gaming.

“We should improve our productivity in shoemaking and textiles because we have different natural resources to make them, and they have big markets,” Barcelon told the Daily Tribune.

The local textile and footwear industry could grow by over five percent annually, according to global data provider Statista.