The Birth of a Center

The partnership began in 1987 when a vision was transformed into reality. As part of the government strategy in curbing the nation’s external debt and improving trade performance, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in cooperation with the Japanese Government through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), sought the establishment of the Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC).

As the country lagged behind its ASEAN neighbors, the DTI gave full priority to export. Thus, the need for trained business people in areas related to the promotion of international trade has to be immediately addressed. The Philippine Trade Training Center was accordingly mandated to develop an institutional capability to provide training in the field of international marketing. With this objective, PTTC envisioned to produce world class Filipino exporters proudly competing in the world market. This was done in the areas of trade business, product testing and inspection, and trade exhibition.

The Center through the years, has been helping the country vigorously to pursue economic growth and development by advancing the Filipino entrepreneurs’ competitive position both in the local and world markets.


To ensure positive results, a nationwide training needs analysis was conducted in 1987 as a groundwork for the Center’s work program. The output was a training mix on the Center’s core program consisting of courses that cover exporting, product testing and inspection, and trade exhibition. Subsequently, a regional needs survey was implemented in three sectors: garments, food, and furniture.

Initial activities focused on the study and analysis of the various needs of clients, particularly the foreign buyers’ perception of the Filipino exporters with respect to aggressiveness, adaptability, time orientation, and trustworthiness. These led to the development of programs capturing topics on product and market trends, product standards and restrictions, distribution systems, costing and pricing, trade barriers and preferential tariffs, negotiation techniques, and business planning.

Supplementing the conduct of training programs are audio-visual materials that further enhanced the learning environment. This included a video on export procedures entitled “Step by Step Export” which won a special award among 60 entries from 30 countries at the 1990 Sony International Video Contest in Tokyo, Japan.

Partnerships with business associations, non-government organizations, and other government agencies as well as international organizations were forged to supplement PTTC’s training interventions. Contracts were inked with the following:

Philippine Association of Collegiate Schools of Business (PACSB) Joint faculty development on export marketing and exchange of training materials and information. A Trainers’ Training Seminar series was henceforth implemented.
Marketing Association of Groups Involved in Communities (MAGIC) Seminar Series on Costing and Pricing, Effective Trade Participation, Visual Merchandising, Negotiation Techniques.
Foreign Buyers Association of the Philippines (FOBAP) Development and Launching of the Export Merchandisers’ Training Course (EMTRAC)
Association of Training Institutions for Foreign Trade in Asia and the Pacific (ATIFTAP) Doing Business with China (with speakers from PROC)
Carl Duisberg Gesellschaft of Germany (CDG) Long Term Program on International Marketing for the German Market ( a five-year project focused on food and furniture)
Sweden’s Import Promotion Office for Products from Developing Countries (IMPOD) Training cum Consultancy for the Furniture Sector (a three-year project culminating in the entry of Philippine furniture products in IKEA Sweden)
US Food Development Authority with the Bureau of Export Trade Promotion (BETP) US-FDA Seminar on the US-Food and Drugs

Administration Rules and Regulations

Bureau of Product Standards (BPS) ISO 9000 Seminar Series
Garments Association of Subcontractors Subcontracting for Garments

From 1988 to 1992, the Center conducted a total of 632 seminars, with 407 or 64.3% on business management, 159 or 25.2% on testing and inspection, and 66 or 10.5% on trade exhibition. A total of 25,000 exporters, entrepreneurs, as well as government personnel involved in export operations were trained. To reach out to the regional and provincial centers in the country, regional seminars were likewise conducted totaling 123, with 4,500 participants.