2023 exports to miss target

Catherine Talavera - The Philippine Star
2023 exports to miss target
Trade deficit occurs when the country’s imports bill outgrows export sales.
STAR / Edd Gumban

MANILA, Philippines — With only five-percent export growth expected to be attained this year, the Philippines is unlikely to hit this year’s target of $126.8 billion under the Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP), according to Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau director Bianca Pearl Sykimte.

In a virtual press briefing, Sykimte said the Philippines is unlikely to achieve this year’s export target under the PEDP 2023-2028. “Most likely difficult (to meet the target) because the PEDP targets were crafted in a situation where there were no geopolitical tensions, no rapid rise in inflation, and less favorable recovery in China,” she said.

The export plan was drafted from mid-2021 to 2022.

“We launched the PEDP only this year. So the projections did not take into account the slowdown in the international trading environment,” Sykimte said.

The latest export target of $126.8 billion is 29-percent higher than the $98 billion export income registered in 2022.

Sykimte, however, said the DTI was hoping for a five-percent growth in export this year, which would translate to $103 billion in total earnings.

She said this year’s export performance would be driven largely by the services sector.

The DTI official said that from January to June, the services sector posted a 22-percent growth in export income, particularly driven by travel services which grew from just $800 million last year to more than $4 billion this year.

“Other exports of services under IT-BPM, telecommunications, computer information services and other business services were up by 49 percent from January to June,” Sykimte said.

In contrast, she noted that the country saw a 23-percent decline in the export of manufacturing services, which mostly involve assembly and packaging.

Latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that the country’s export sales totaled $6.70 billion in August, a 4.2-percent increase from $6.43 billion in the same period last year.

However, year-to-date exports stood at only $47.8 billion, a 6.6-percent decline from $51.18 billion in the same period last year.

Asked if there is a need to review the targets set by the PEDP amid global headwinds, Sykimte said this is still under discussion with the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (Philexport) and the Export Development Council (EDC).

“This is something that we’re discussing with Philexport and with the overall EDC. Usually we recalibrate based on the trading environments,” she said.

In June, the Department of Trade and Industry launched the PDEP 2023-2028 which targets to grow the Philippines’ merchandise and service exports to $240.5 billion by 2028.

The plan puts export development as a national agenda and focuses on addressing binding constraints to export competitiveness, expanding the country’s export capacities, and seizing growth opportunities in the international market.

In addition, the PDEP also seeks to undertake an industry development-centric approach that will make the Philippines a competitive global player.

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