Export growth target to be revised upward

Richmond Mercurio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines -  The government and the private sector will revisit the country’s export growth target following the strong outcome of merchandise exports in January.

Department of Trade and Industry Export Marketing Bureau director Senen Perlada said the public-private Export Development Council (EDC) is likely to elevate this year’s total export growth target to as high as seven percent from the present forecast for 2017 of just three to five percent.

The projections refer to the combined growth of both merchandise and services exports. Separately, outbound shipments of goods are originally targeted to grow three percent, while that of services are seen rising eight percent in 2017 under the present Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP).

Perlada said the EDC would hold a series of meetings to craft the new targets and come out with the results by end-March.

“We would like to wait for NEDA to come out with the Philippine Development Plan. Also, the projection is not going to be based on the PSA (Philippine Statistics Authority), but it’s going to be based on the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas projection which will use the BPM6 (Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual). So the PEDP will now also use BPM6,” Perlada said.

The trade official, who also serves as executive director at EDC, said the recalculation of the country’s export targets is prompted by the robust January merchandise exports results.

Last week, the PSA reported that exports surged 22.5 percent in January 2017 to $5.13 billion from $4.19 billion in the same period last year.

“Hopefully the January growth, which was at 22 percent, will continue. But even any double digit growth for the next six months then we will be okay,” Perlada said.

Electronic products remain the top Philippine export product comprising almost 46 percent of the country’s total exports with receipts of $2.37 billion for January.

Non-electronic goods, which accounts for 54 percent of exports, likewise increased by 35.19 percent year-on-year.

Japan is still the top Philippine export destination with 17.3 percent share to total exports while the United States ranked second with 16.5 percent share.

“We are positive that we will continue to drive growth and recovery for the export sector as we increase our efforts in promoting Philippine industries throughout the year in various key markets. We take the consistent growth since the last quarter of 2016 as a sign for positive outlook in the coming months,” Trade Undersecretary Nora Terrado said.

The value of the country’s services exports for 2016, meanwhile, has yet to be released.

Perlada, however, said services exports growth last year is expected to grow by double digits, surpassing the nine percent target for 2016 under the PEDP.

“There is really a lot of interest to set up here in the country. Particularly, the Health and information management sector is strong and the fastest growing, while the growth of voice is steady,” he said.

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