15 April 2019

Published also in Business Mirror

PHILIPPINE exporters are looking to diversify product offerings and expand markets overseas to grow revenue by 5 percent to 6 percent this year.

“Our forecast for this year is not even exactly according to the target for the year, but we have already products that we are looking to improve our exports on so that we will be able to make that target still feasible or attainable for this year,” said Senen M. Perlada, director of the Export Marketing Bureau of the Department of Trade and Industry (EMB-DTI).

Perlada said these include non-electronic products, such as cars, desiccated coconut, coconut oil, footwear and wearables.

“There are products that are growing fast although they are not as big as the semiconductors or something but it will, at least, be able to make us closer to the target than we have forecasted,” he noted.

Perlada said service exports are also “doing very well. But because of the very high targets that we projected for, or that we assumed for 2018 to 2022, that is something that we can revisit,” he added. The trade official further said local exporters are, likewise, looking to expand market destinations.

“Some of these markets are Russia; we are looking also at the Eastern Bloc countries. Hopefully, we can follow up the missions that we have had in Africa. We went to Mexico just recently. They are already trading partners but they are what we have not actually taken full advantage of,” Perlada said.

January 2019 trade data showed that exports further declined by 1.7 percent, recording only $5.279 billion compared to $5.373 billion in the same month last year. For the whole of 2018, exports declined by 1.8 percent while imports grew by 13.4 percent.

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