June 13, 2019
The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) is still upbeat for the export industry this year despite the slowdown in performance due to weak global demand as new markets are being eyed by both exporters and the government.
“There are silver lining in new markets such as Russia, Africa and the Middle East which the exporters and DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) are exploring,” PCCI President Alegria Limjoco told The Manila Times on Wednesday.
Cumulative export sales fell 2.1 percent to $21.92 billion in the first four months of 2019 from $22.39 billion a year ago. However, outbound shipments slightly rose in
April — the first time this year — by 0.4 percent to $5.51 billion from $5.48 billion in the same month in 2018.
Earlier, DTI said it was conducting trade initiatives to Russia, Africa, Latin America and South Asia as “these markets are expected to experience high economic growth and with their huge population can provide for alternative export markets in the near future.”
Limjoco said the global market is still “soft” at the moment that even the electronics exports — a major component of the country’s outbound shipments — recorded lower orders.
Revenues from electronics exports dropped 0.6 percent to $11.95 billion in January-April period from $12.02 billion a year ago.
Amid technological advancements, the PCCI chief pushed for exports of wearable — an electronic device that could be part of a clothing or worn such as smartwatches and fitness trackers, among others.
This, in addition to promoting the creative sector which has been categorized by DTI into five sectors including advertising, film, animation, game development and design.
“We also hope that in this congressional term, we can pass laws that will help facilitate exports,” Limjoco said, noting that this includes the revision on Public Services Act that seeks to relax policies on allowable percentage of foreign ownership for public utilities
The Management Association of the Philippines (MAP), meanwhile, flagged concerns over the ongoing trade spat between giant economies China and the US seen to be affecting demand.
“We continue to be impacted by the US-China trade war, given over half of our exports participate in global production chains,” MAP President Rizalina Mantaring told The Manila Times.
“Given that external factors are driving slugging exports, it’s hard to predict when a recovery [will] take place,” she added
Despite the setback, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez earlier expressed confidence that positive growth for the exports will be achieved in the following quarters.
“Notwithstanding, from the 2018 total export level of $89 billion, we remain confident that we are still on track in meeting our total export targets to reach a range of $122 billion to $130 billion by 2022,” Lopez said in an earlier statement.
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