What can businesses and Filipinos expect after APEC 2015?
More than 10 billion pesos was spent to make the historical Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting successful in the Philippines. Now that it’s over what can businesses and ordinary Filipinos expect as an end result of all the sacrifices that we all hurdled to make this happen?
APEC leaders talks about various trade agreements. These trade agreements in one way or another will surely affect us in the country. The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) for example which is backed by the United States and excludes China seeks to provide extensive trade liberalization among member countries but experts say it also has a security flag when it comes to freedom over the internet. (Related: Multinational Corporations Plans to Kill the Internet). President Bengno Aquino already met with Candian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who vowed support to the Philippines’ possible accession to the United States-led Trans-Pacific Partnership composed of 12 countries.
As if counter-acting the US-led TPP, China meanwhile is pushing for he Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). ASEAN is the main negotiation for this trade agreement and includes China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.
Did APEC 2015 achieve something which relates to their theme, “Building Inclusive Economies, Building a Better World?“ This is what the Philippines is pushing for since it would give access to micro, small and medium enterprises to finances and global market chain. It seems that it would take more time for it to be realized but the move is already going there.
“The Declaration outlines new commitments for APEC members to take forward over the coming year to build inclusive economies; foster micro, small and medium enterprises’ participation in regional and global markets; build sustainable and resilient communities; invest in human capital development; and enhance the regional economic integration agenda,” as summarized in the 2015 Manila Declaration of APEC Leaders.
Looking at the GDP per capita of each country you will see that the Philippines is still at the bottom of almost all of the APEC countries.
What should you expect as a businessman, as an entrepreneur and as an ordinary Filipino citizen?
- Greater competition between local and imported goods. As tariffs are cut and borders broken imported goods can now move freely from one economy to the other. This means that in order for local businesses to survive they much be ready to compete with both local and international brands.
- Greater opportunity for all. The market is being more fluid and free thus if you would seize this opportunity to spread your market, it might be a good idea. However, in doing so you must always bear in mind that quality, pricing and the customer experience that you provide should be world class as well.
What can you to to make sure your business succeeds post APEC 2015?
- Automate your business. If you want to be ahead of the competition, the first thing you should do is to automate your business process and utilize the latest technology. If you are an SME you can make use of computerized accounting system and even implement a payroll system so that you will have more time with other more important matters of your business.
- Get Social. Maximize your exposure not only through traditional ads like newspaper, radio and television but most importantly through social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and through website and blogs. Increase your customer experience through relevant customer engagements.
- Customer Experience. If there is one aspect wherein all businesses have a chance to compete is the level of customer experience. Always make sure that you deliver quality product and service for your target clients.
The world is getting smaller and this can be either be a good thing or a bad thing for your business depending on how you react to it. Always be alert, be engaged and be active or else other businesses might just eat you alive.
If you have questions don’t hesitate to comment on this article. Empower your business now so that you are always ready for the challenges of the changing times.