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10 January 2018

also published in Business Mirror

PHILIPPINE merchandise exports are projected to grow double digits in 2017, with the expected sustained positive performance of major electronics and nonelectronics sectors in November and December.

The positive performance of six out of nine subsectors of the electronics industry—Semiconductors, Office Equipment, Communication/Radar, Consumer Electronics, Electronic Data Processing and Control and Instrumentation—is expected to contribute to the projected double-digit full-year export growth.

Similarly, exports of nonelectronic goods, such as Forest Products, Mineral Products, Footwear, Coconut Products, Sugar Products, Textile Yarns/Fabrics, and Furniture and Fixtures, are projected to sustain their significant growths in the next two reporting periods.

Philippine merchandise exports have maintained their double-digit positive performance in the first 10 months of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016, increasing by 11.68 percent, based on preliminary data from the Philippine Statistics Authority.

Last October alone, exports grew by a respectable 6.56 percent, marking the 11th consecutive month of positive growth being posted in the value of Philippine merchandise exports since December 2016. For 10 straight months, the value of merchandise exports in the review period was shared almost evenly by electronics and nonelectronics at 50.78 percent and 49.22 percent, respectively.

“The export sector is a big employment generator, and we welcome these positive developments, as this will translate to more job opportunities,” Department of Trade and Industry Undersecretary for Trade and Investments Promotion Group Nora K. Terrado said.

Recently, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) raised its growth forecasts for the Philippines to 6.7 percent for 2017 and 6.8 percent this year, with the projected robust economic expansion resulting from the Duterte administration’s massive infrastructure program, called “Build, Build,  Build.”

The ADB noted that the government was on track to achieve its target of spending 5.3 percent of GDP on public infrastructure in 2017. Meanwhile, household consumption remained strong despite moderating slightly from 2016 and net exports turned positive in the review period, reversing a deficit in 2016.

10 January 2018

also published in Business Mirror

THE Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is set to release in February the new and revised Philippine Export Guidebook.

The guidebook is a user-friendly tool that serves as an assurance of the DTI’s commitment to help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) become globally competitive through export.

This year, the EMB designed the guidebook with the MSMEs in mind—keeping it practical and straightforward, with the hopes of answering the initial questions about export processes in the Philippines.

The MSME sector is key in attaining the Philippines’s export targets because not only do they comprise 99.5 percent of Philippine businesses; they are also a great source of creativity and innovation, which are needed to maintain the country’s competitive advantage and enable the Philippines to leapfrog through its growth trajectory.

The guidebook outlines the different processes an exporter must go through, the advantages and costs involved in a particular process, as well as the agencies that must be contacted. With this information, the EMB, with the help of different government agencies, intends to make exporting easy and stress-free.

“We hope this guidebook becomes the start of greater things ahead: A long and lasting relationship between private companies and the DTI and the EMB, the success and growth of local business through exporting, and insurance that local entrepreneurs and domestic manufacturers and other companies continue to contribute to an inclusive and sustainable growth for the Philippines,” said Senen M. Perlada, EMB director.

10 January 2018

by PHILEXPORT News and Features

also published in Business Mirror

THE software for the Philippine government’s online trade-facilitation portal, TradeNet, has been delivered and is now undergoing procedures in preparation for going live in July 2018.

The TradeNet software was delivered by the Department of Information and Communications Technology to the Department of Finance (DOF) last December 15, said a reliable PortCalls source from the finance department, which spearheads the project.

Since it will be a globally available system, the software will be subjected to comprehensive security-hardening processes for at least 60 days, said the source, who is involved in the project. Hardening helps minimize security vulnerabilities by eliminating as many security risks as possible from the system.

The DOF will involve the private sector sometime in February in comprehensive functional tests, while regression testing and optimization will be performed in April.

If all goes according to schedule, the system will go live in July, the source said.

The online platform will allow traders of commodities to apply for their import and export permits online, securing a faster and more convenient application process. It aims to connect 66 trade regulatory agencies and 10 economic zones involved in approving import and export permits and other trading requirements.

The source clarified that TradeNet is not a customs system, but an operations-management platform for all things related to trade facilitation. TradeNet will serve as the operations system when it comes to the issuances of import/export-related clearances and permits across all regulatory, oversight, law-enforcement and border-protection agencies.

TradeNet will also serve as the country’s National Single Window (NSW), a prerequisite to connect to the Asean Single Window (ASW), a regional initiative to speed up cargo clearance and promote economic integration by enabling the electronic exchange of border documents among the organization’s 10 member-states.

The source noted that TradeNet is now being tested for compatibility with ASW. Currently, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia are connected to ASW. Other member-states are fast-tracking their own NSWs and connectivity to the ASW platform, expecting to come on board from December 2017 onward.

The DOF earlier said seven types of commonly traded commodities will be the first batch to be covered when TradeNet is rolled out. These are rice, sugar, used motor vehicles, chemicals (toluene), frozen meat, medicines and cured tobacco.

Finance Undersecretary Gil S. Beltran earlier said 16 agencies involved in processing the trade permits of the seven commodities are scheduled to be connected to TradeNet before the rollout. These include the Bureau of Animal Industry, National Tobacco Administration, Fair Trade and Enforcement Bureau, National Food Authority, Bureau of Plant Industry, Food and Drug Administration, National Meat Inspection Service, Bureau of Internal Revenue and Bureau of Customs.

Other goods will be progressively placed on board TradeNet as other trade regulatory agencies get connected to the system, until all 66 agencies and 10 economic zones are linked.

10 January 2018

also published in Business Mirror

THE Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is set to expand its Philippine Export Competitiveness Program (PECP) for 2018, as it partners with more DTI regional and provincial offices, Negosyo Centers, local government units and private-sector organizations like PhilExport and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Through an enhanced cooperation with public and private stakeholders, EMB’s PECP program seeks to develop the capabilities of exporters, support organizations and all stakeholders alike.

The PECP is EMB’s umbrella undertaking that seeks to boost the competitive stance of domestic manufacturers and exporters through seminars, information sessions  and activities that give them insights on productivity, innovation and updates on export trends.

Last year, more than 1,000 participants participated in a total of 21 information sessions conducted by the EMB in various localities nationwide.

For 2018 the EMB aims to hold its seminars in all 16 regions of the country and will incorporate sessions on Doing Business in Free Trade Areas (DBFTA). The DBFTA sessions will cover discussions on market opportunities, preferential tariffs, rules of origin and customs procedures on Philippine FTA partners and Generalized Scheme of Preferences donor countries.

This year, PECP topics will include e-commerce and online marketing, addressing nontariff measures, packaging and labelling, the Bureau of Customs’s  CMTA updates, export procedures, the EMB’s Tradeline Philippines, shipping regulations, certification compliance  and warehousing services for micro, small and medium enterprises, among others. Through an enhanced program offering, the PECP seeks to grow the number of well-informed stakeholders to sustain export growth.

The first PECP information session this year is slated on January 25, to be held at the DTI International Building along Gil J. Puyat Avenue in Makati City.

by PHILEXPORT News and Features

10 January 2018

also posted on Business Mirror

PHILIPPINE businesses need to consider the enormous opportunities offered by India, which is becoming the world’s largest consumer market of fresh produce.

Euromonitor Digest, a monthly online publication of the Department of Trade and Industry’s Export Marketing Bureau, said healthy living, coupled with population growth and government initiative, supports positive growth forecast of fresh food.

“With a growing population, demand for fresh food has been increasing in India, and this trend is expected to continue even in the forecast period. Consumers are becoming more aware of the benefits of healthy living in a hectic world and the importance of consuming fresh, unadulterated produce that supplement their overall growth,” it said.

The report, culled from Euromonitor International’s Business Intelligence Research, noted these will drive demand higher for fresh food, especially fruits, vegetables, meat and eggs.

India has seen a rise in exotic commodities’ imports in all categories of fresh food due to the increased popularity of such products; while health forums and modern retail channels are the main reasons for the growth of products, it said.

“Identifying the demand for them, especially in the Tier I and Tier II cities, retailers try to stock such products seasonally by importing from other countries,” it noted.

Fruits, such as avocado, kiwis, strawberries  and dragon fruit, as well as fish and seafood, such as lobsters and shrimps, and vegetables like broccoli and olives are some of the many fresh food items highly demanded due to their taste and health benefits.

The government of India has launched several initiatives to support production of fresh food and increasing consumer awareness by educating consumers about fresh food.

The report said this is expected to support the forecast performance for fresh food in India.

“Continued support from the government and private players, by taking steps to produce such commodities in India or through importing them due to lack of suitable climatic conditions, will enhance the sales of such products locally. This will drive the growth of fresh food and increase the consumption share of such products amongst consumers,” it added.

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