The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) as chair of the Export Development Council (EDC) is expecting the approval of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte of the new Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) 2018-2022 after getting the endorsement of the country’s Economic Development Cluster last 14 June 2018.

The PEDP 2018-2022 is a five-year roadmap that identifies strategies that will support in reaching the country’s export targets and improving country’s export competitiveness.

“Past PEDPs have been helpful in setting the direction that we implement to attain our targets. With the new plan, we aim to level up our initiatives and address recurring issues through concrete and efficient action plans that will benefit both the public and the private sector,” said Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez.

In 2017, the PEDP identified a target of $92.15 billion in exports revenues for combined merchandise and services exports. PEDP has been instrumental in hitting the target and even exceeded it with actual exports revenue of $98.84 billion in 2017.

Lopez also mentioned the goal of the PEDP to synchronize initiatives that will help attain end-period target for exports of $122 billion by 2022 as identified in the Philippine Development Plan (PDP). Thus, instead of the usual PEDP as three-year rolling plan under the Export Development Act (RA 7844), the PEDP 2018-2022 extends until the end-period of the PDP.

“This intensifies the mandate to the Export Development Council and the DTI to strictly implement and efficiently cascade action plans as it becomes integral in attaining the medium-term plan in PDP and in the long-run, in attaining the Ambisyon 2040,” Lopez added.

The PEDP 2018-2022 identified three strategies that laid out action plans that will support the growth of the exports industry in the coming periods.

First strategy dwells on the government’s goal of improving the overall climate for export development through removal of unnecessary regulatory impediments, enhancement of trade facilitation, improved access to trade finance and exports’ competitiveness.

The second strategy identified is to exploit existing and prospective opportunities from trading arrangements. DTI has existing programs that aim to increase awareness on various opportunities offered by free trade agreements (FTAs) that the Philippines currently enjoys. In the new PEDP, the second strategy proposed a dedicated program like DTI’s Doing Business in Free Trade Areas (DBFTA) to strengthen promotion efforts to prospective and existing exporters.

Lastly, the plan proposed the crafting of comprehensive packages to promote select products and service sectors.

“We are working closely with the private sector and other government agencies in attaining success on this and we welcome the issuance of the Memorandum Circular No. 27 in October last year that directs all concerned and relevant agencies to strengthen the implementation of the PEDP in the coming periods with their identified roles and tasks,” said DTI Undersecretary for Trade and Investments Promotion Group Nora K. Terrado.

The memorandum further identifies the integral roles of the identified agencies in relation to the implementation of the PEDP. It explicitly linked PEDP with PDP further supporting their closer synchronization and strengthening time frames and targets. After the approval of the PEDP, the Export Development Council will hold stakeholder engagements across the country.♦

Date of release: 25 June 2018