Exports of goods and services could grow by 6.5 to 7.5 percent this year, a Trade department official said on Friday, with revenues expected to hit $79.7 billion to as much as $80.4 billion.
“There is a recovery in global demand, which is already happening now. Actually the strength of the US dollar versus the peso is also a bonus,” Export Marketing Bureau chief Senen Perlada said.
“Take note that the peso is not weak, the dollar is strong and that is beneficial,” he added.
Perlada said that for merchandise exports alone the government was targeting growth of 4 percent to 5 percent. For services, the goal is a much higher 10 to 11 percent.
“Based on that you will have a total of 6.5 to 7.5 percent [growth]for both goods and services,” he said.
“Absolute [value]for exports of goods for 2017 would be $45.1 to $45.6 billion and then for services, $34.5 to $34.9 billion and for [the]total, you’ll have $ 79.7 to $ 80.4 billion.”
Perlada said one of the main reasons for merchandise export growth was increased shipments of some agricultural products like coconut oil.
The service sector’s performance over the past few months was also “very fast”, he claimed, despite some concerns by stakeholders in the information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) industry.
“A lot of people are worrying on what will happen in the services sector but eventually it’s going to be a business decision. So it’s going to be how good we are at being able to provide services like IT and BPM,” Perlada said.
While there has been a slowdown in growth, the IT-BPM sector remained the main driver of services exports.
“IT and BPO consist of about 60 to 70 percent of total services exports. So far they’ve been good at it. Global market wise, they have about 9 to 10 percent,” Perlada said.
“We are not looking only at the US and North American market. There are a number of emerging markets like Australia and New Zealand. Japan is also growing so we are looking at being able to diversify to these markets so that the base is going to be wider.”
Perlada said the government was now crafting revisions to the 2018-2022 Philippine Export Development Plan to reflect new targets.
“At the end of the plan, we are looking at about $122 to $ 133 billion exports by 2022,” he said.