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Business

New products with export potential pushed

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The government is looking to push for new products with export potential to diversify the country’s exports as it crafts a new export development plan for 2022 tol 2027.

“There is really a need to diversify our exports away from our traditional products, and the right time to do it is now,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said.

“The government is committed to develop more viable programs for MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) so that they can be more competitive and better able to take advantage of the opportunities brought about by increasing global demand for both products and services, particularly from South East Asia,” he said.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed the country’s merchandise exports rose 20.9 percent to $35.90 billion in the first semester.

Electronics remained the country’s top export, rising 18.5 percent to $20.27 billion in the January to June period from $17.10 billion a year ago.

Exports of machinery and equipment, cathodes of refined copper, metal components, copper concentrates, also posted double-digit growth rates in the first half.

Meanwhile, other popular exports of the country such as tuna, bananas, and pineapples are on a downward trend and registered negative cumulative growth rates as of end-June.

Despite this, the DTI remains hopeful of seeing continued increase in the country’s exports.

“We are positive that we will continue to see an upward movement in our export performance, as we allow 100 percent operating capacity of our exports sector even during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ),” Lopez said.

Metro Manila which moved to ECQ last Friday, will be under the strictest quarantine classification until Aug. 20, given the threat of the more transmissible Delta variant.

Also under ECQ are Laguna, and the cities of Iloilo and Cagayan de Oro.

“In our efforts not to disrupt export activities, we expect to maintain the acceleration of our growth rate and continue to provide jobs for our people. There is still room for more growth for Philippine exports,” Lopez said.

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