Export management coaching for small businesses in the Philippines

6 May 2022
ITC News

'The training was valuable and allowed me to understand fully the contents of the manual for one-on-one export management coaching. The presence of participants coming from private sector, government and PHILEXPORT contributed to effective knowledge sharing,’ said Ms. Marizon Loreto, ITC export management coach, who participated in a five-day workshop to train a pool of eight selected export management coaches held in Manila.

The workshop was arranged under the aegis of the Export Management Coaching Initiative (EMCI) that offers practical and action-oriented advisory services to selected Philippine micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) through the delivery of on-the-job coaching. This supports exporters in resolving day-to-day issues related to export and import procedure management.  

Coaches are equipped with a manual covering five thematic areas that commonly pose challenges to exporting MSMEs, including packaging and labelling, regulatory compliance and buyer requirements; customs formalities and applicable fees; international shipping by sea and air and export planning and pro-forma invoices.

Utilizing various training tools, the Training-of-Trainer workshop introduced the EMCI methodology and its coaching manual to the selected coaches. It also familiarized them with the technical content of each problem area through role-play exercises based on fictitious case studies developed by the lead coach. This allowed coaches to become familiar with the format of the manual and to discuss the content of each thematic area in a constructive manner. The workshop also served as a platform for selected coaches to network with each other and build sustainable relations.

The trained export management coaches are local professionals with extensive experience in the fields of import/export, freight forwarding and logistics. In addition, two representatives from PHILEXPORT and three participants from the Philippines Trade Training Centre (PTTC) were also present during the workshop.

The workshop also introduced the EMCI Web Application to participants and trained coaches on reporting using the online integrated manual. EMCI coordination and logistical aspects with the EMCI Coordinator and Lead Coach were also discussed during the last day of the workshop.

Following the workshop, an ‘Initial approach questionnaire’ was disseminated to MSMEs across all industries and regions in the Philippines, which will be the basis for selecting those to receive the first coaching missions scheduled in the coming weeks.

This workshop was organized through the ARISE Plus Philippines, which is a project of the Government of the Philippines, with the Department of Trade and Industry as lead partner together with the Department of Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration, Bureau of Customs, the Department of Science and Technology, as well as the private sector. It is funded by the EU with the International Trade Centre (ITC) as the technical agency for the project.