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DTI upbeat on sustained growth in exports this year

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star
DTI upbeat on sustained growth in exports this year
This photo shows crates carried by a forklift in the port of Manila.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines —  The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) expects the country’s exports of goods to continue to rise in the coming months as it pursues work with the private sector and other agencies to promote the growth of the sector.

Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual said the country’s robust export performance in February, following a 9.1 percent growth in January, shows a promising start for the Philippine export sector.

“We are hopeful that this growth momentum will be sustained in the coming months. We will continue to collaborate closely with the private sectors, government agencies and development partners to improve the Philippines’ export environment and build on this export growth,” he said.

Data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority last week showed the country’s merchandise exports rose  by 15.7 percent to $5.91 billion in February from $5.10 billion in the same month last year.

The growth was driven largely by electronic products, which continued to be the country’s top exports in February, accounting for 57.9 percent of the total.

Exports of Philippine electronic products, which include semiconductors or components or devices, increased by nearly 27 percent to $3.42 billion in February from $2.70 billion in the same month in 2023.

For the January to February period, the country’s total merchandise exports went up by 12.3 percent to $11.84 billion from $10.55 billion in the same period last year.

Under the Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) 2023 to 2028, the goal is for the country’s total exports covering goods and services to reach $143.4 billion this year.

Earlier this week, Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (Philexport) president Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. said during the group’s general membership meeting, the 2024 exports target “ is impossible to achieve this year.”

Amid geopolitical issues that can impact trade, he said it may be possible to meet this year’s target for exports of goods and services in two years.

The country’s exports of goods and services breached the $100 billion mark for the first time last year as it hit $103.6 billion.

While last year’s total exports went up by 4.8 percent from $98.8 billion in 2022, it was below the $126.8 billion goal for 2023 set under the PEDP.

Various efforts are being undertaken by the DTI to support exports growth.

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