PRA attends NRF 2020, FIRA annual meeting

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PRA at the FIRA Meeting (Standing, first row, from right) PRA Chairman Emeritus Samie Lim, PRA Chairman Atty. Paul Santos, PRA Secretary General Evelyn Salire, and PRA President Rosemarie Ong.

The delegation from the Philippine Retailers Association (PRA), led by President Rosemarie B. Ong recently went to New York to attend an annual meeting with the Federation of International Retail Associations (FIRA) of which the PRA is a member of and the National Retail Federation 2020: The Big Show.

FIRA is a network of retail associations across the globe that promotes networking, collaboration, and information exchange among retail trade association executives around the world. It aims to enhance the success of the global retail industry through the development of more informed and effective retail trade associations.

During the meeting, PRA presented the top three issues on the retail market in the Philippines including the Retail Trade Liberalization, Cross Border Commerce (from E-commerce) and the worsening traffic condition in Manila.

“Our main position is always to protect the welfare of our micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), which will be the first ones to be affected once the minimum capital for foreign retail trade investors is lowered to USD 200,000.00 from USD 2,500,000.00,” President Ong said.

The PRA continues to seek the government’s consideration for an equal level playing field for all players in the industry. The PRA is also hopeful that through the e-commerce roadmap, which is being drafted by the Department of Trade and Industry, appropriate laws and guidelines, especially on taxes for e-commerce and cross border commerce will be set.

The PRA delegation also attended the two-day NRF 2020: The Big Show which featured some of the most revolutionary speakers and exhibitors.

Participants were welcomed by NRF Chairman and CEO BJ’s Wholesale Club Chris Baldwin on the second day of the show, who shared about the benefits the industry and consumers are now reaping from the investments that retailers have put in. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella who served as keynote speaker, on the other hand emphasized the importance of data in shaping the retail industry, and how it can empower customers and retail employees.

The NRF Big Show 2020 was attended by around 40, 000 participants from 100 countries. There were over 200 sessions and 800 exhibitors showcased their most recent and innovative products and services.

The PRA delegation is composed of PRA President Rosemarie Ong, PRA Chairman Atty. Paul A. Santos, PRA Chairman Emeritus Samie Lim, and PRA Secretary General Evelyn Balmeo-Salire.