EXPORTERS are setting their sights on non-traditional markets like France and Mexico, in a push for various initiatives to weather the export slump.
Citing data from the Department of Trade and Industry, Philippines Exporters Confederation Inc. (PhilExport) President Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. noted over the weekend that exports to France and Mexico have increased by 59.2 percent and 22.4 percent, respectively.
In contrast, the overall exports have declined by 16 consecutive months after tumbling by 13 percent to $11.4 billion in July from $12.2 billion a year earlier amid bearish global trade, he said.
“I must say that no doubt, we are in very challenging, abnormal times which unfortunately is appearing to be the new normal. From many international accounts, global trade growth has been weak and sluggish, experienced last during the global financial crisis in 2007 to 2009,” he added.
Ortiz-Luis said exporters want to maximize the United States’ Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and European Union GSP+, aside from the other trade agreements with the Association of Southern Asian Nations (Asean) and partner-economies.
PhilExport supports the expansion of Executive Order 170 to encompass the container-chassis roll-on-roll-off or Cha-Ro, which is expected to reduce logistics costs by 15 percent to 20 percent.
Cha-Ro will also support and complement the establishment of the Asean Ro-Ro Project Network.
This will also address issues related to the movement of natural persons, customs, immigration, quarantine and security, and technical operations which President Rodrigo Duterte espoused at the recent Asean Business and Investment Summit, he said.
Ortiz-Luis said PhilExport and the Export Development Council are actively involved in crafting the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.
They are also part of the committee reviewing the additional amendments the recently signed IRR on controlled chemicals by further streamlining procedures, documents and fees, he said.
On trade facilitation, Ortiz-Luis cited the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s Revenue Memorandum Order 56-2016 which requires that the clearance certificates of brokers and importers be processed and released within five working days once all the documents have been submitted.