The Philippines: Next ASEAN hotbed for Tech Innovation
The Philippines is on target to be ASEAN’s next center of tech innovation. In 2020, the country is projected to hit its projection of 6.2% GDP growth, a large, young and increasingly internet- ready population, plus a very supportive and innovation-ready regulatory environment, the country is certainly ripe for fintech and startups investments.
“We strongly believe that this is a pivotal moment for us to become more relevant and competitive in the global marketplace. DTI has always been supportive of the growing fintech industry because of its massive potential for financial inclusivity for our people. With all the work and tech innovation building up in the country in recent years, we are ready to expand our horizons,” shared Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Dr. Rafaelita “Fita” Aldaba.
She underscored the significance of being at the center of tech innovation, citing how fintech companies and products have largely contributed to the government’s relentless drive for financial inclusion.
These include telcos and traditional banks successfully launching their own fintech products offering millions of consumers access to formal credit products; small and medium enterprises as well as farmers being given alternative finance by startup firms who link them to banks and other investors; and mobile wallets and startup firms working on modernizing remittances through online payments and use of cryptocurrencies amid the growing number of Filipinos working overseas.
“Now, the Philippines is primed to move on to the next level and transition into a world-class digital economy via the Philippine Fintech Festival — an international gathering of experts and leaders in innovation,” continued Usec. Aldaba.
The forthcoming Philippine Fintech Festival (PFF), now on its new schedule on September 16-17, 2020 at Shangri-La at The Fort, is a convergence of various government agencies, industry organizations, and private companies to showcase the country’s vibrant tech landscape, and explore the expansive opportunities for tech and fintech potential in the country.
The PFF is in partnership with various government agencies including the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), along with private corporations and organizations such as Distributed Ledger Technology Association of the Philippines (DLTAP) and FinTech Philippines Association (FPH).
“The Philippine Fintech Festival promises to be a showcase of the latest technological innovations both here and abroad to local and international businesses. This will definitely go a long way in helping us develop the country’s capability for innovation through the continuous development of information and communications technology,” declared DICT Undersecretary Jose Arturo de Castro.
PFF will gather global innovation experts to discuss the future of banking, industry transformation, and financial inclusion for the plenary sessions. The Festival will also feature various side events including Business Matching activity with Trade Connect where entrepreneurs can network with possible investors and learn from their peers in the industry. There will also be a PFF edition of The Final Pitch wherein startups can present their innovative business ideas to industry leaders and venture capitalists. While, the PFF Hackathon will challenge students and tech enthusiasts in creating impactful solutions for current pressing issues in the Philippine financial industry. Access to the ASEAN Financial Innovation Network (AFIN)’s APIX platform will be made available to Hackathon participants as part of their toolkit. These activities will culminate during the PFF Awards wherein winners from these activities will be recognized.
“We are working closely with the various government and industry partners in putting together PFF 2020 because this is an opportunity to showcase the Philippines’ capabilities in the fintech space. Through the PFF, we are taking a shot at co-creating the future together,” said DLTAP and FPH chairman Justo Ortiz.
Registration for the Philippine Fintech Festival on September 16-17, 2020 is on-going. Sponsorship opportunities are also available for interested parties. For more information visit the official PFF 2020 website at https://www.philippinefintechfestival.com/.