EDC leads implementation of 3-year PEDP
Business Mirror
May 10, 2016

PRESIDENT Aquino III approved on February 4, 2016 the 2015-2017 Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) through Memorandum Circular 91, directing 14 agencies to plan the flow of exports as a primary platform to achieve inclusive growth and to transform the Philippines into a strong, competitive and innovative exporting nation.

The PEDP is a three-year rolling plan for exports, which forms part of the Philippine Development Plan (PDP). It lays out the plan of providing a business environment supportive of trade, growth and innovation. The plan would enable domestic industries, especially micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), to establish their niches in the regional and global markets by increasing the country?s participation in the global value chain (GVC).

The Export Development Council (EDC) is the lead agency that will oversee the implementation of the PEDP. It is tasked to coordinate the formulation and implementation of policy reforms and export promotion strategies.

Director Senen Perlada of the Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and concurrently the executive director of the EDC said, ?The goals set for this plan are two-fold: One is to transform the Philippines into a strong, competitive and innovative exporting nation; and two is to make exports a primary platform to achieve inclusive growth. The latter resonates with the overarching goal of the PDP to bring about inclusive growth. These twin goals translate to increasing the country?s participation in the GVC and making full use of the benefits that can be derived from such participation. As a core strategy, the plan is to maximize the country?s participation in the GVC through provision of a healthy and conducive business environment that would allow domestic producers, including SMEs, to find niches in the GVCs through which they can profitably and sustainably integrate in the regional and global markets.?

Emmarita Z. Mijares, deputy executive director of the EDC, noted some major weaknesses in the Philippine Export Sector that the PEDP aims to address. ?Some of the major weaknesses in the Philippine export sector that the PEDP will give priority addressing include the low degree of diversification, such as concentration in few markets and products, concentration in products with limited growth potentials and lack of competitiveness on most products it exports, including those products where it is deemed to have comparative advantage.?

The PEDP identified eight development strategies, namely, (1) design comprehensive packages of support for key and emerging sectors; (2) remove burdensome domestic regulations that impede the movement of goods; (3) raise the productivity and competitiveness of Philippine enterprises; (4) upgrade the quality of exports; (5) improve exporters? access to finance; (6) exploit the opportunities presented by the Asean Economic Community (AEC) and other preferential trade areas (free trade agreements or FTAs), US General System of Preferences (GSP), EU GSP+ and explore new ones; (7) intensify export promotion by linking it with various initiatives designed to attract investments; and (8) enhance the innovative capacity of the export system of national innovation.

The core strategies of the PEDP aim to achieve export competitiveness through comprehensive support to identified key and emerging sectors, maximization of preferential trading agreements lowering of the common hurdles, and costs faced by exporters. and capacity building through innovation.

The initial targets set for 2015 took into consideration the global economic slowdown, particularly in the Philippines?s major markets: China, Japan and the United States. They also considered the impact of past natural calamities on the domestic supply of raw materials. ?From 2016, however, exports are targeted to be back on track and grow according to the trend of 8.8 percent and breach 10 percent in 2017.

Mijares said there will be challenges in the implementation of the PEDP, especially with the coming change in leadership by July. Getting the support of the incoming administration to the export sector is key to its success.

?If export is not recognized as a means to attain inclusive growth, the new administration may divert their attention to other sectors,? Mijares said.

Fourteen government agencies were directed to collectively work to formulate, revise and implement policy reforms in order to facilitate the free flow of exports, including the DTI as the lead agency, Departments of Agriculture, Energy, Environment and Natural Resources, Finance, Department of Foreign Affairs, Health, ?Interior and Local Government, Labor and Employment, Public Works and Highways, Science and Technology, Transportation and Communications, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and National Economic Development Authority.?

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