29 July 2019

Published also in Business Mirror

Exporters are optimistic about reaching a 6-percent revenue growth target this year on the back of services sector as they go full blast in implementing the newly approved export development plan.

Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (Philexport) President Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. said the export plan will now be brought down to different departments that will be mandated to make this part of their programs.

“We might not do it in the merchandise but services export is doing quite well,” he said, citing the business-process outsourcing (BPO) and tourism sectors.

“We are also hoping that somehow, the agricultural sector will develop better and some breakthrough in the policies on the mining sector,” he added.

Ortiz-Luis said there are still a lot of products that the country is supposed to export like fruits. “We have developed markets but we don’t have the products. So, hopefully, the policies now and the funding will be able to push next year,” he said.

The Philexport chief pointed out that the services sector can somehow offset the slower merchandise exports, which he considers a worldwide problem. “The world tradings have been suffering for so many reasons, among others, the trade war between China and the US. While it [trade war] is not affecting us directly, it has affected our major markets, the suppliers like Japan, US and China also,” he said.

Ortiz-Luis said they hoped that the electronics industry, still the country’s top exporter, should grow above the current 3 percent.To boost export growth, he further said industry players are focusing in Asia, particularly the Asean. “Because of the economic agreement [Asean Economic Community], the tariff structures and the easier access to this market,” Ortiz-Luis added.