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Business

Garment exports may hit $2 billion this year

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The country’s  exports of garments and hard goods may  reach  $2 billion this year as local garment factories expect to receive up to $500 million worth of new orders from global fashion brands which are transferring their purchases from Myanmar to other countries including the Philippines.

Foreign Buyers Association of the Philippines (FOBAP) president Robert Young said the group has been receiving export orders and inquiries for garments and apparel from foreign buyers, including Zeeman Europe, Walmart and TJ Maxx in the US, as well as Hudson’s in Canada.

“Rough estimates totaling to $200 million to date have been booked and FOBAP projects double in quantity in the coming three to four months,” he said.

He said the group has  received orders for   babies’ clothes, men’s athletic and sporting outfit, ladies’ dresses and intimate apparel.

“The orders will be on the floor in about two weeks’ time,  because we have to wait for their fabric,” he said.

With the expected additional orders, Young said shipments of garments and hard goods facilitated by FOBAP may reach up to $2 billion this year.

“With the pandemic still on, this is a big relief to the Philippines’ ailing garment textile and garment sector. It may translate to additional foreign revenue earnings, significant number of employment generation and livelihood support,” he said.

Young estimates that the additional orders may create about 10,000 to 20,000 jobs in factories located in Metro Manila and Cebu.

“This will somehow snowball  because all the related industries will again be active such as transportation, packaging, food, so forth and so on,” he said.

To support export activities, he called on the government to ease the community quarantine level.

“I hope the modified general community quarantine will happen and if it happens, then everything will continue because factories will hum again, the machines will hum again, and the laborers will be coming in again, (and) transportation will be added. This is the very first basic thing that the government can do,” he said.

He also said that factories should have access to loans to allow them to open and operate.

“If there will be some financial help from the bank and with the guarantee from the government, then this will all be put into play and I’m sure it will be a success,” he said.

On the petition for a P100 wage hike for workers nationwide, he said this should be suspended as this may make the country lose out on the opportunity of orders being shifted from Myanmar.

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