Electronics top exports in August
Business Mirror
October 19, 2016

ELECTRONIC products remained the country’s top exports as the sector grew by 11.6 percent, from $2.359 billion in August 2015 to $2.633 billion, accounting for 53.7 percent of the total export revenues in August 2016, the most recent export report issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed.

Among the products in this sector, semiconductors continued to have the biggest share with 39 percent, posting an increase of 11.2 percent, from $1.719 billion in August 2015 to $1.912 billion in August 2016.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) noted electronic products are among the identified key Philippine exports under the Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) 2015-2017, along with processed food and beverage, coconut oil, motor-vehicle parts, and computer and information services, such as the information-technology and business-process management (IT-BPM).

“As part of our strategy in the PEDP, we will continue to provide comprehensive support services to our key and emerging export sectors while we continue to strengthen our market presence and seek new trading partners,” DTI Export Marketing Bureau Director Senen M. Perlada said.

Exports of other mineral products also grew with total sales of $120.16 million.

Meanwhile, exports to East Asia, such as Hong Kong, China and Taiwan, grew by 22.4 percent 2.2 percent and 19.72 percent, respectively. According to the PSA, a large portion of the country’s merchandise went to countries in East Asia, accounting for 52.2-percent share of the total exports valued at $2.560 billion, which reflected a 2.5-percent increase from $2.497 billion of August 2015.

Exports to some parts of Europe also grew, with France and Switzerland, reflecting double-digit growth rates, 78.08 percent and 68.55 percent, respectively.

“Our traditional markets are there, such as Japan and the US, which are our top export destinations.  But we are urging and encouraging exporters to maximize our free-trade agreements [FTAs] with other countries,” Perlada said.

The DTI official noted the Philippines, as part of the Asean, has existing FTAs with other Asian countries, such as Japan, China and Korea and Australia and New Zealand, and India. Filipino entrepreneurs, especially exporters, can maximize the benefits they can avail themselves of via FTAs with these countries. Support services and assistance are all available with the DTI’s EMB.

The DTI also plans to increase its presence abroad by opening up new trade posts in strategic cities. Recently, it opened its first Philippine Trade and Investment Center in Mexico and expects to open another center in Toronto, Canada, before the end of 2016.

The DTI also plans to expand Philippine markets abroad and hire more trade representatives in order to seek new markets, strengthen the country’s economic presence abroad and further assist Philippine micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

The PSA reported that for August 2016, total Philippine exports amounted to $4.904 billion, from $5.128 billion in the same month last year. The overall decline was brought by seven major commodities out of the top 10 export commodities for the month, which include machinery and transport equipment (-52.5 percent); metal components (-25.9 percent); chemicals (-16.2 percent); articles of apparel and clothing accessories (-11.3 percent); other manufactures (-9.3 percent); woodcrafts and furniture (-8.8 percent); and coconut oil (-6.9 percent).□

Kathleen Joyce D. Bondoc , Office of the Undersecretary for Industry Promotion Group, Department of Trade and Industry