The of Department Trade and Industry (DTI) is urging exporters to “scale up” in an effort to hit the 8-percent to 9-percent growth target this year despite the 8.4-percent decline the first quarter.
There is a need for exporters to “scale up amidst a highly competitive global digital economy through innovations on processes, functionalities, and technologies that will help tap new ventures and markets and substantially integrate into the global value chain,” said Trade Undersecretary Nora Terrado.
Philippine exports decreased by 8.4 percent at $13.11 billion in the first three months of the year from $14.3 billion a year earlier due to weak global demand, particularly from country’s top export markets.
The downtrend was observed not only in the Philippines but also in the rest of the world.
Germany, one of the biggest economies in Europe and the fifth top export destination of Philippine goods, suffered the biggest decline of 17.7 percent.
Shipments to the biggest buyer of Philippine products, Japan, contracted by 3 percent. Shipments to China and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region dipped by 5.6 percent, while the third biggest market, the US, decreased by 8.3 percent.
Despite the global downtrend, the department noted local companies and exporters have shown resilience. Some firms have expanded technologically and globally by establishing presence in the United Kingdom, the US, and the Middle East.
Among the corporate giants are Monde Nissin Corp., which bought the UK’s Quorn for P38.93 billion; Universal Robina Corp., which bought Griffin Food of New Zealand; Emperador Inc., which purchased Fundador Pedro Domecq, Spain’s oldest and largest brandy maker; and Jollibee Foods Corp., which operates restaurants in China, the Middle East, and the US.
The DTI is sticking to its 8 percent to 9 percent growth target this year, while the Cabinet-level Development Budget Coordinating Committee (DBCC) earlier revised its export target this year to 5 percent from 6 percent.