Total exports breach target last year as services boom
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - February 14, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Aggregate Philippine exports surpassed last year’s target and likely grew at least 10 percent as service exports finished with another double-digit expansion, an official of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said yesterday.

DTI Export Marketing Bureau executive director Senen Perlada said aggregate exports of goods and services are expected to finish 2017 with a 10.8-percent increase to a range of between $98 billion to $99 billion.

The DTI’s growth target for total exports in 2017 ranged from 6.5 to 7.5 percent.

Perlada said services exports finished the year at over $31 billion, a growth of about 13 percent year-on-year.

“We are quite close to breaching the $100 billion mark in 2017,” Perlada said.

Official data for services exports has yet to be released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

The Philippine Statistics Authority earlier reported that the country’s merchandise exports grew 9 .5 percent in 2017 to $62.87 billion from $57.4 billion the previous year.

Perlada said the country’s merchandise exports in 2017 was three times more than what the DTI had expected for the year.

“We really exceeded the targets for merchandise exports,” he said.

Under the country’s new Philippine Export Development Plan, the government expects total exports to reach between $122 billion to $131 billion by 2022.

By then, services exports are projected to account for half of total exports, a significant improvement from its 33 percent contribution at present.

“In terms of targets there is enough confidence on our part in DTI that we will be able to hit at the very least the lower end of the planned target by 2022,” Perlada said.

“The idea is really to be cautiously optimistic about what is happening. There are challenges, for example the attitude of the US leadership is still there about anti globalization. But there are some positives we can explore. We are still in good terms in terms of being able to enjoy GSP privileges both with the US and the EU,” he said.

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