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DTI’s Maiden Industrial Digital Transformation Congress (IDTC) highlights innovation and digital technologies as catalysts for post-pandemic industrial transformation

MAKATI CITY—The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has successfully organized the first-ever Industrial Digital Transformation Congress (IDTC) at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) on 06 December 2022, with the theme “Digital Transformation and Strategic Repositioning for Globally Competitive and Innovative Industries.” Over 140 onsite guests consisting of key officials and representatives from various government agencies and development organizations, leading industry associations, and the academe graced the event, while more than 100 participants joined virtually via Facebook livestream.

The Congress tackled, among others, the DTI’s new industrialization strategy anchored on science, technology, and innovation (STI). It likewise delved into the Department’s priorities for the next six years grouped under the following industry clusters: Industry, Manufacturing, and Transport (IMT) cluster; Technology, Media, and Telecommunications (TMT) cluster; Health and Life Science (HLS) cluster; and Modern Basic Needs and Resilient Economy (MBNRE) cluster. Moreover, it stimulated meaningful discussions on ways to bolster collaborative efforts among the government, industry champions, and academe to promote productivity, efficiency, and adaptability of the industries post-pandemic.

“Our goal is to support the current administration’s efforts to lead the country toward an inclusive economic transformation. DTI is pursuing an industrial policy driven by science, technology, and innovation (STI). Through STI and digital technologies, industries can be better positioned to transform and face competition in domestic and export markets”, said Trade and Industry Secretary Fred Pascual.

Meanwhile, Undersecretary Rafaelita M. Aldaba said, “We view the adoption of new technologies as a way to strengthen innovation. Through the creation of new products and services in the market as well as the promotion of environmental goods, through smart manufacturing and precision agriculture, production efficiency goes up and competitiveness improves…All these result in more quality jobs, higher incomes, and the emergence of new industries…The new generation of disruptive technologies is now shaping an engineering revolution. The combination of Artificial Intelligence (AI), automation and new space-based industries indicates that we have entered a new era – one that closely resembles science fiction than the factory-driven industrial society of the past century.”

The discussion during the Congress covered a wide range of topics from policies to practical applications, emerging trends, and opportunities. The speakers also offered recommendations on how to further enable the country’s assimilation and participation in the regional and global value chains. For instance, the need to address trade and investment barriers, upskill and reskill our workforce, and enhance logistics/connectivity and infrastructure, among others. Further, representatives from Siemens and Schneider Electric Philippines shared practical applications of AI and automation in transforming industrial manufacturing to promote efficiency and productivity. Simultaneous to the Congress, Siemens also mounted an exhibit to demonstrate industry 4.0 at work. Finally, other presenters discussed emerging opportunities and the role of innovation in the areas of aerospace, agribusiness, and the creative sector.

Undersecretary Aldaba further emphasized the need to adapt to our new reality propelled by innovation and new technologies. “The transformation that we are embarking on is a chance for us to create a better Philippines for business and investment; empower our people as a major source of our comparative and competitive advantage; adopt innovative and cost- effective technologies and processes that augment human contribution; and revitalize industry and develop and integrate industries as inclusive of all sectors of making, producing, and supplying covering manufacturing production, extraction, distribution, wholesale, retail, logistics and operations. This reimagined future landscape is bold and inspiring, but it is not impossible…We can make a lot happen in 10 years, and the way ahead is through our collaboration and collective imagination, aiming higher and more inclusively than ever before”, she said.

In closing, Secretary Pascual said that, “our strategic actions and policy priorities are means to a competitive, robust, and resilient economy. Our ultimate goal in the next six years is to provide more and better jobs for our people, enable them to earn a higher income and provide a higher quality of life. We will rely on the active collaboration among government, industry, the academic and training community, and development partners. By embracing innovation in our industries and preparing our workforce for the future of work, we will achieve a more prosperous, inclusive, and sustainable economy.”


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