Improving Industry Competitiveness Needed to Overcome Exports Decline – NEDA
National Economic and Development Authority
August 10, 2016

Weak demand from major export markets pulled down exports by 11.4 percent in June 2016, its 15th consecutive month of decline, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

The Philippine Statistics Authority reported today that total revenue from Philippine exports fell from US$ 5.4 billion in the previous year to US$4.8 billion in June 2016. This is due to lower sales in all commodity groups.

“We must continue to improve our efforts in ensuring an enabling environment where industries can upgrade and improve their competitiveness,” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia.

He said that an example would be transforming the agriculture sector from traditional farming to a globally competitive agribusiness sector.

“This can be done by effectively linking the agriculture sector to the local and global industry supply chain,” said Pernia, who is also NEDA Director-General.

Export of manufactured goods declined by 9.5 percent to US$4.1 billion in June 2016, a steeper decline than the 0.5 percent decline in May 2016.

On the other hand, export of petroleum products declined by its slowest pace of 10.6 percent since the start of the year. In part, this reflected price dynamics as export volume increased by 90.6 percent.

Meanwhile, exports to the country’s traditional markets declined, except for Hong Kong and Taiwan, which posted a 3.2 percent and 2.2 percent growth, respectively.

Almost all Asian countries, except for Vietnam and India, experienced weak, albeit improving, export performance.

“With the slow global economic recovery, the country should identify non-traditional markets such as in Europe and within the ASEAN region, to reduce the external shocks from times of weak demand from traditional markets,” the Cabinet official said.

“We should also ensure that the programmed spending on infrastructure projects, particularly those related to transportation and logistics, to support the country’s growing industries,” said Pernia.□