New MSME dev’t plan calls for more funding, tech assistance

A NEW national strategy for small businesses is expected to help reduce their operating costs and make them more globally competitive, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.

The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Development Plan 2023-2028 had been presented at a meeting in Malacañang last month.

The plan focuses on the integration of digital solutions into economic support for the sector, which will help new businesses comply and remain competitive as technology evolves.

“The new MSME Development Plan is more than a policy document; it is a blueprint for the future, ensuring that our enterprises are competitive, innovative, and resilient,” Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual said.

“By focusing on digitalization, we are preparing our MSMEs to meet the challenges of the modern economy and ensuring they continue to be a critical driver of our nation’s growth,” he added.

In particular, the DTI said it was instructed by President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. to embed artificial intelligence and other digital technologies in the MSME strategy to ensure ease of doing business.

Aside from digital solutions, the new strategy also outlined the institutionalization of shared services facilities and the creation of business-starter support programs.

“These initiatives are designed to reduce operational costs and eliminate barriers for new entrepreneurs, respectively,” the DTI said.

The DTI said that the strategy also targets expediting the loan approval process for MSMEs through the use of machine learning-based credit scoring models. — Justine Irish D. Tabile