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SMEs told to gear up for ASEAN 2015

Philippine Telephone Long Distance (PLDT) Group yesterday urged small-medium enterprises (SMEs) to gear up for the upcoming regional economic integration under the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by employing information and communications technology (ICT) solutions.

aseanPLDT executive vice president Eric Alberto said the impact of ICT on local businesses will be more pronounced as the AEC rolls out by December 2015. He said the AEC will give way to a virtually border less economy that will require a more robust ICT and electronic commerce framework for SMEs.

In a speech during the PLDT SME Nation-organized summit “Future Talks – Ready for 2015: Future-Proofing SMEs for the AEC,” Alberto said SMEs will be better prepared to face the AEC by embracing ICT solutions.

“Philippine SMEs who have flourished with traditional business models and manual systems should adopt ICT to keep pace with the changing times, as there is stronger call for them to prepare for ASEAN integration,” he said.

“By highlighting the benefits of ICT in businesses, local SMEs can be provides with a competitive edge vis a vis their foreign enterprise counterparts and can create valuable contributions to the ASEAN Economic Community,” Alberto added.

The telecommunications executive said ICT solutions will enable SMEs to harness technology, expand their businesses and introduce more innovative products and services to the market.

Alberto said the PLDT Group, in anticipation of the ICT-driven economy under the AEC, has made significant investment to expand its fiber network to 90,000 kilometers, increase in 3G data coverage, expand its 4G LTE connectivity and invest in a new international cable system.

“Business leaders in the country need to understand the enabling impact of ICT not only in empowering them to introduce their products and services throughout the region, but also on how collaboration within their respective industries can contribute to the nation’s standing in the ASEAN Economic Community,” Alberto pointed out.

PLDT is considered as the leading telecommunications service provider in the country through its fixed line and wireless services as well as business process outsourcing.