THE Department of Trade and Industry’s Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB) on Tuesday said efforts by the government to strengthen ties with Asean neighbors and China may support exports growth in the coming months.
DTI-EMB Director Senen Perlada noted that exports increased by 11 percent to $4.782 billion in February, marking its third month of positive growth.
“Enhancing trade promotion efforts to huge consumer markets is seen as a viable strategy in sustaining the performance of Philippine exports in the coming months,” Perlada said.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) has reported that eight out of the 10 top export goods were on the rise. Electronic products comprised 51.6 percent of total export revenue at $2.470 billion compared with $2.131 billion a year earlier.
The United States was the top export destination for Philippine products, accounting for 15.6 percent of total shipments valued at $745.22 million. Japan was second with a 15.25 percent share and receipts valued at $728.35 million.
The increase in February 2017 exports lifted the cumulative value of merchandise exports by 17.36 percent in the first two months of the year.
As the Philippines chairs the Asean Summit this year, the country is pushing for the conclusion of the China-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations.
RCEP is a free trade agreement that is the focus of discussions between the Asean 10-member states and the group’s six dialogue partners including China, South Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and India during this week’s trade meetings in Bohol province.
“RCEP is the chance to balance the country’s trade deficit, especially with China,” Perlada added.
“We see a trend of recovery among economies in the first two months of 2017. For us in the Philippines, the numbers are healthy. While we ranked ninth for this month, on a year-to-date analysis among selected trade-oriented economies, we placed third in terms of export growth. This is a sign of a robust export sector,” Perlada said.
The Asean groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam as a single trade bloc.