The Philippines will have the opportunity to become a regional leader in the knowledge economy through the printing industry in the coming integration of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).
In a speech before the 17th National Printers’ Convention of the Printing Industries Association of the Philippines, Inc. (PIAP), Poe stressed the important role of the printing industry in the knowledge economy.
Poe, a presumptive presidential candidate leading to the scheduled May 2016 national elections, emphasized that the industry could take advantage of the opportunities that would be created by regional integration in December 2015.
The lady senator explained that the ASEAN Economic Community means the breakdown of tariff barriers, capital restrictions and barriers to entry within the region.
“This means lower-priced imports – so you will be able to source your raw materials, like ink, paper, printing tools and equipment, at a lower price. This also means that you can start bidding for printing contracts in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. You can also now enter into partnership agreements with your counterparts in Southeast Asia,” Poe said.
Poe noted that the regional market presents another opportunity for the Philippine printing industry.
Southeast Asia, with its 600 million predominantly young population, is an immensely lucrative market for the book industry, she said
“Our country holds a competitive advantage in terms of our highly-skilled, hard-working and English-speaking population. Aside from our human capital, Philippine printing industry is also a very vibrant industry, with somewhere between 600 to 800 printing firms operating in the country right now. Small- and medium-scale printing enterprises can serve niche markets of published materials,” Poe said.
She cited the example of Tagalog romance novels that are being exported to the Middle East, Europe and other countries with significant overseas Filipino workers (OFW) populations.