SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - In an effort to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) technology for economic growth, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Alfredo Pascual met with Silicon Valley technology companies and investors. The discussions, held on November 15th, focused on potential partnerships to enhance the skills of Filipino workers through AI.
According to Philippines News Agency, Secretary Pascual underscored the Philippine government's commitment to advancing AI technology. He highlighted the collaborative nature of this initiative, involving both public and private stakeholders. Pascual emphasized the importance of forming an alliance that draws upon the strengths of both sectors to foster a future-ready workforce and inclusive economic development.
During the meeting, Pascual presented the Philippines' AI roadmap, aimed at driving innovation, creating new products, and upskilling the workforce. He reassured that AI policies and technologies in the Philippines are designed to augment labor, not replace it, foreseeing an increase in hiring and the emergence of new tasks.
Pascual also pointed out the potential of AI to promote inclusive, resilient, and sustainable industrial development in the country. He reported the Philippines' ambition to become a "Center of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence," noting that over 50 tech startups in the country are already utilizing AI. Moreover, he highlighted that 83 percent of Southeast Asian countries are actively developing AI strategies.
The DTI chief outlined four strategic dimensions of the National AI Strategy: digitalization and infrastructure; workforce development; regulation; and research and development (R&D). These strategies are expected to drive economic growth and expansion, enabling industries to adapt to rapidly changing technology.
Pascual further explained that the National AI Strategy focuses on improving the population's quality of life, boosting enterprise productivity, and enhancing economic competitiveness. He emphasized the strategy's role in maintaining local industries' regional and global competitiveness, identifying key areas for investment in R&D and technology, fostering R&D collaboration, preparing the workforce for emerging jobs, and attracting major industries to the Philippines.
The roundtable meeting, co-organized by the DTI with Thomas Pompidou, David DeWalt of NightDragon, and Manny Maceda of Bain and Company, represents a significant step in integrating AI technology into the Philippine economy, aiming to position the country at the forefront of technological advancement and economic progress.