PH Internet economy grew 6% to $7.5 billion in 2020


The Department of Trade and Industry said Monday it supports the greater digital participation of micro, small and medium enterprises amid the growing e- commerce landscape and increased market competition the country.

“According to a Google Temasek study, the Philippine Internet economy hit $7.5 billion in 2020 from $7.1 billion in 2019, having grown 6 percent, year-on-year. What’s more, there were more new online retailers last year, reaching around 80,000 because of the pandemic,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said at the 2021 Forum on Competition in Developing Countries organized by the Philippine Competition Commission.

“That’s why last January, we launched the e-commerce roadmap to develop and promote e-commerce in the country,” he said.

Lopez said the goal of the DTI is for the e-commerce sector to account for 5.5 percent of the economy by 2022. The department launched programs that provide digital training and onboard MSMEs “so that not only will the small businesses have an online presence, they will have sales during the pandemic.”

With the growing e-commerce, complaints related to online transactions reached 15,947 in 2020 and 857 in January 2021.

“In this regard, we’ve been working to protect both consumers and the competition process by addressing these complaints. Through stronger consumer protection, we hope to revive consumer confidence to boost demand, which would encourage businesses to produce more. This, in turn, would protect jobs and ensure people will have income despite the pandemic,” Lopez said.

He said the government policies crafted by the DTI and policy reforms instituted would provide additional incentives for both domestic and foreign enterprises to enhance their competitiveness.

“For example, the Philippine participation in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership or RCEP Agreement will not only benefit us through tariff liberalization leading to increased competition and trade but also by attracting investments. By providing a more stable and predictable rules-based system of trade, the lowering of trade barriers in RCEP will secure improved market access for Philippine goods and services in the region,” Lopez said.

“We also ensured that RCEP is molded as a supporting mechanism for the updated Philippine Development Plan for 2017-2022, as well as the country’s industry roadmaps. This is a means to promote not only the economic growth of our key industries, but also the development and participation of our MSMEs in the global value chains,” he said.

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