Discussion Papers Series 2017-2022

DP 2022-04 Analyzing Trends in APEC Using Data Analytics

Brenda A. Quismorio and Raymond Freth A. Lagria

This paper shows that advanced analytics and traditional statistical techniques on available unstructured and structured data can be utilized to understand the themes put forward in APEC's yearly meetings and how member economies have supported these topics through the conduct of APEC projects. The application of text mining algorithms, such as topic modeling on the proceedings of APEC-level annual meetings, namely, APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting (AELM), APEC Annual Ministerial Meeting (AMM), and Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM), generated themes from the text which insight have been discussed. The topic models generated broad themes from AELM+AMM documents and more specific from SOM documents. These generated themes tended to be in the discussion for an average of three consecutive years. The theme observed to be in discussion in the longest (i.e., five consecutive years) was youth and globalization. These generated themes were found to be consistent with the actions APEC has pursued in the past years.

Member economies support the policy directions of APEC Economic Leaders and Ministers by implementing projects that are beneficial to the Asia-Pacific region. The 5-Stage APEC Project Cycle ensures that only projects that are aligned to APEC policy directions are approved and encourages collaboration among member economies. A level of support score on weighted project attributes was formulated to rank the 50 topics that categorized the 2,144 APEC projects, which member economies carried out between 2006 and 2020. Based on this score, the top five topics were energy, human resources development, trade facilitation, small and medium enterprises, and standards. The support for energy came mostly from the United States, China, and Japan. Culture was the least supported topic with only one project by one proposing economy.

The Philippines sponsored 74 APEC Projects on 26 topics: 12 (or 16%) were on small and medium enterprises (SME); 16 (or 21%) were self-funded, mostly on science and technology (4 projects); 13 (or 18%) were co-sponsored mostly with Chinese Taipei on SME. The Philippines attended all the annual APEC-level meetings and is one of the nine economies that have hosted an APEC year at least twice.

Link: https://www.pids.gov.ph/publications/7632


DP 2022-03 E-Commerce Adoption and Its Impact on the Performance of Women-led MSMEs in Metro Manila: An Ex-ante Study for RCEP

Jill Angeli V. Bacasmas, Jean Clarisse T. Carlos, and Jovito Jose P. Katigbak

This ex-ante study analyzes the impacts of e-commerce adoption on the performance of women-led micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Metro Manila, their awareness and perceptions of government efforts towards internationalization, and their readiness to engage in cross-border e-commerce through the Regional Comprehensive Partnership Agreement (RCEP). Findings validate the observation that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated e-commerce adoption and this has substantially enhanced the performance of women-led MSMEs in terms of sales growth, customer base, customer satisfaction, and process enhancement. The data further highlight that there is a low level of awareness on both existing government programs for women-led MSMEs, and on RCEP and its chapters on e-commerce and MSMEs. However, certain provisions within the chapters appeal to women-led MSMEs, such as "information on trade and investment-related laws and regulations for export-oriented MSMEs" and "acceptance of electronic transaction documents in online cross-border transactions.

Link: https://www.pids.gov.ph/publications/7631


DP 2022-02 Opportunities for the Philippines under RCEP: Trade in Services

John Paolo R. Rivera and Tereso S. Tullao, Jr.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a forward-looking trade agreement between member economies of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its free trade agreement (FTA) partners (AFPs) namely Australia, China, Japan, Korea, and New Zealand (i.e., non-ASEAN signatory economies). It presents an opportunity for participating economies to consolidate rules given overlapping sets of FTAs. Because of stalemates that developed between economies in World Trade Organization negotiations, more regional trading agreements (RTAs) have emerged. As RTAs define trade rules and commitments for all its signatories that are geared towards encouraging free movement of goods and services among member economies, it can deepen economic linkages. The RCEP is an alternative avenue for trade liberalization at the regional level, and a challenger to the Trans-Pacific Partnership in terms of coverage and degree of liberalization. Through RCEP, new opportunities for trade and investment may be harnessed. As a result, the enhanced partnership can contribute to human resource and infrastructure development—which are key to the economic growth and development of the Philippines. Hence, we investigate how the RCEP can deepen the contributions of trade in services in the Philippine economy through the commitments made and limitations imposed. We reviewed and assessed the specific commitments of AFPs joining the RCEP in terms of trade in services, particularly on market access and national treatment. We compared these commitments, evaluated their relevance to the needs of the Philippines, and determined the benefits that the Philippines can reap from RCEP.

Link: https://www.pids.gov.ph/publications/7630


DP 2019-34 Assessing the Alignment of Philippine Higher Education with the Emerging Demands for Data Science and Analytics Workforce

Brenda A. Quismorio, Maria Antonette D. Pasquin, and Claire S. Tayco

Rapid advancement in technology has allowed for far-reaching use of data. This has consequently led to an increasing demand for Data Science and Analytics (DSA) professionals. However, recent studies show that such demand is often not met in many economies. Such DSA skills shortage is claimed to be rooted in the mismatch between the skills the industry demands and the skills academic institutions supply. As the first step in addressing this shortage of industry-ready DSA workers, it is necessary to know the DSA skills demanded by the industry and the DSA skills with which academic institutions equip their students. To do this, the study employed the Analytics Association of the Philippines' (AAP) Professional Maturity Model, which is based on the ten APEC-recommended DSA competencies, as analytical framework. The study reveals misalignment between the demand and supply of the DSA workforce in the country. Specifically, there are DSA competencies sought by employers that are poorly supplied by existing DSA-related undergraduate programs. To allow the growth and maturity of the still infant analytics industry, there is a need to address the current lack of a common definition of the analytics profession among stakeholders. The study further endorses the promotion of government-industry-academe linkages to expand the existing market for DSA workforce in the country.

Link: https://www.pids.gov.ph/publications/6932


DP 2019-12 Assessing the Readiness of Filipino MRA-supported Professions to Participate in the Mobility of Skilled Labor in the ASEAN Region: Lessons for APEC Economies

Dr. John Paolo R. Rivera, Dr. Cynthia P. Cudia, and Dr. Tereso S. Tullao Jr.

As a single market and production base, the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) enabled ASEAN Member States (AMS) to take advantage of the free flow of goods, services, funds, and labor. The free movement of labor, particularly skilled, to economies with lucrative opportunities allows them to realize higher returns on their investments in human capital. Such movement is facilitated by mutual recognition arrangements (MRAs) where AMS agreed on recognition mechanisms (i.e., equivalence of registration, licensing requirements, and reciprocity requirements) that facilitated mobility of skilled professionals within the region, strengthened trade in services, and further deepen the AEC. As such, we conduct an extensive analysis of the contributions of MRAs in enhancing the quality of professional services through human resource development (HRD), specifically in the Philippines. In addressing our inquiry whether Filipino professions with MRA support (i.e., accountancy services, medical practitioners, architectural services, engineering services, and tourism professionals) are ready to participate in the mobility of skilled professionals in the AEC, we are able to prepare Filipino professionals, in terms of education, continuing professional education, licensure examinations, experience and others, to be comparable with the existing MRAs for each profession.

Link: https://www.pids.gov.ph/publications/6904


DP 2018-13 Effect of Supply Chain Integration on the Business Performance and Competitiveness of the Philippine Small and Medium Enterprises

Elaine Q. Borazon and Vivien T. Supangco

This study aims to determine the effect of supply chain integration on the business performance and competitiveness of Philippine small and medium enterprises. A survey of 384 small and medium enterprises was done and structural equation modeling was used to test the hypothesis. Results show that internal integration strongly influences (p<0.001) both business performance (growth) and competitiveness of small and medium enterprises. Moreover, customer integration influences business performance (growth). It also mediates the effect of supplier and customer integration in business performance (growth) and competitiveness of small and medium enterprises.

Link: https://www.pids.gov.ph/publications/6155


DP 2018-12 Duration of Export Relationships of Philippine MSMEs

George Manzano and Mark Edison Bautista

Within the framework of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Boracay Action Agenda and the ASEAN Strategic Action Plan developed by its members to assist micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to reach internationalization, the study examines the survivability of Philippines MSMEs' exports to select countries. The analysis is based on the survival analysis model of Besede and Prusa (2006a; 2006b) and Besede and Prusa (2008). Using the Kaplan Meier estimator model in both the MSME exports and the total trade data in documenting the survival rate of goods and duration of Philippine exported products, the study finds that most export relationships of the Philippines are brief, contrary to conventional trade theories which suggest that most trade relationships will be long-lived. Also, MSMEs, on average, account for a more significant number of export relations than large establishments. Furthermore, among MSMEs, it is the medium-sized firms that constitute the majority of export relations over different durations.

Link: https://www.pids.gov.ph/publications/6154


DP 2018-07 Obstacles and Enablers of Internationalization of Philippine SMEs Through Participation in Global Value Chains

Jamil Paulo Francisco, Tristan A. Canare, and Jean Rebecca Labios

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are important in many developing countries, including the Philippines. However, this sector remains much less productive than their large counterparts. One factor that can help SMEs achieve higher productivity is to connect them to global value chains (GVCs) through internationalization. However, SMEs are faced with a host of obstacles in trying to participate in GVCs. This paper attempts to determine the challenges and enablers of connecting small and medium businesses to GVCs. It uses data from a survey of Metro Manila SMEs and a set of key informant interviews of SME owners and of government officials tasked to assist SMEs. Findings show that Philippine SMEs are weakly linked to GVCs. The challenges and enablers can be grouped into five themes, namely: (1) competition in ASEAN and East Asia; 2) international standards, regulatory requirements, and local institutions; (3) role of the government; (4) international market demand and inputs supply; and (5) entrepreneurial mindset. Based on the results, some policy implications were formulated.