MSMEs may look forward to receiving significant support for their development in 2021.

The biggest development is the signing of the global trade deal, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement, which will provide many opportunities for economic growth.

Last year, the Philippines, and 14 other countries, signed the RCEP. The member states account for 30% of the global economy. These countries were the 10 ASEAN member states as well as five free trade agreement (FTA) partners: Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, and China.

Allan Gepty, assistant secretary of the Trade and Industry and lead negotiator during the RCEP talks, said that the plan is to finish the ratification process by this year. For it to enter into force, the agreement needs to be ratified by at least six ASEAN member states and at least 3 external partners.

Last year, the RCEP countries accounted for 50% of the Philippine export market, 61% of Philippine import sources, and 11.4% of foreign direct investments that entered the country in 2019.

Department of Trade and Industry secretary Ramon Lopez had this to say about the landmark signing of the trade deal:

“RCEP will bring job opportunities for the Filipinos in the country as it facilitates inclusive and open regional economic policies, especially for MSMEs, who can take advantage of the increasing globalization and creation of new supply chain linkages."

The agreement includes the areas of goods and services, investment and economic cooperation, intellectual property, electronic commerce, government procurement, and competition.

It will likewise allow for more investments in the country, particularly in the following sectors: manufacturing, research and development, financial services, game development, E-commerce and the Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing. Businesses will have better access to a wider market to sell products such as garments, automotive parts, and agricultural products.

Watch this space for more updates and information about how the RCEP will impact the Philippine economy in 2021.