USAID launches P1-B PH MSME digital transformation

Photo from USAID

By Manila Bulletin

USAID, the principal US government agency to extend assistance to countries, launched a P1 billion digitalization program that aims to digitally transform 30,000 small micro and medium enterprises (MSMEs) over a five-year period.

US Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Carlson announced the $18 million (P1 billion) fund during the public launch of the USAID Strengthening Private Enterprise for the Digital Economy (SPEED) on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023.

“SPEED signals the US government’s strong commitment to supporting the Philippine government’s vision of a digital Philippines,” said Carlson.

USAID SPEED is a new project that will enable Philippines MSMEs to participate safely, reliably, and competitively in the country’s emerging e-commerce ecosystem.

The five-year project aims to help build an inclusive, market-driven, growth-expanded, and private sector-led digital economy for the Philippines where e-commerce sales is expected to reach $25 billion by 2025 from $22.95 billion in 2023.

“Our goal is to transform that least at least 30,000 SMEs across the country, their operational efficiency, productivity and sales, and by expanding their opportunities to grow into more mature and bigger enterprises,” said Carlson.

In five years, Carlson said, “We plan to create a robust digital ecosystem, where digital payments and logistics networks are pervasive and interoperable, allowing enterprises and customers nationwide to conduct seamless e commerce transactions.”

Carlson also announced the launch of the Philippine e Commerce Alliance, a broad-based private sector led coalition of business organizations technology companies and business on onto enterprises that will advocate for E commerce development, including policy reforms and self-regulation best practices that will enable the establishment of an inclusive digital economy in the Philippines.

Under the SPEED project, USAID will continue to work with the Philippine government and private sector partners, including technology experts and innovators to create an efficient and interoperable logistics and digital payments ecosystem and to assist in the establishment of domestic and cross border trade processes to promote inclusive business development and increase SME participation in global value chains.

The SPEED will assist the DTI to achieve its goal on the onboarding 1000s of SMEs into the various digital platforms. The USAID will also assist the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to reach its target of 50 percent e payment transactions in 2023 and higher e payments uptake in the succeeding years.

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