The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is upbeat that the country will meet its export target for this year, and possibly even exceed it with merchandise exports sustaining their growth momentum over the first eight months of the year.
Based on a report from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the country’s merchandise exports increased by 9.2 percent to $40.75 billion from $37.33 billion recorded for January to August last year. The electronics sector rose 5.17 percent to $16.28 billion from $15.28 billion, while the non-electronics sector grew 12 percent to $24.47 billion from $21.85 billion.
In the first eight months of 2014, the country’s export growth of 9.2 percent was second to Vietnam’s 14.9 percent, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).
“Given this development in the country’s export performance, we are pleased that our promotion efforts here and abroad have yielded positive results as reflected the growth momentum sustained by the electronics and the non-electronics sectors,” DTI Undersecretary Ponciano Manalo Jr. said.
Manalo noted that the growth of the country’s exports also prompted the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries of the Philippines Inc. (SEIPI), which tracks the export performance of the country’s electronics and semiconductor industries, to raise their growth projection to 5 percent to 8 percent from their initial 5-percent target because of strong demand for their products.
“While we now see the gains from our promotion of non-electronic products, particularly our participation in international trade fairs and outbound and inbound trade missions, we will continue to actively participate and conduct these activities to further contribute to our export targets this year,” Manalo said.
According to PSA, non-electronic products that posted significant double-digit year-to-date growths are travel goods and handbags (53.8 percent), mineral products (29.2 percent), textile yarns and fabrics (33.6 percent), furniture and fixtures (44.1 percent), machinery and transport (42.5 percent), fruits and vegetables (27 percent), and other agro products (23 percent).
Manalo noted that in the first half of the year, it already participated in 11 recognized international trade fairs to promote the Philippines as a viable source of innovative and quality products.
“This October, we will once again hold the Manila FAME, Asia’s design and lifestyle event in October, following its March edition this year. Through trade shows like the Manila FAME, we provide opportunities for our small and medium enterprises to showcase their products to the global market,” he said.
He also noted that aside from fairs, DTI also organized inbound and outbound business-matching activities to introduce our export products to foreign markets. As of August 2014, the DTI conducted 32 inbound business-matching activities and two outbound business-matching activities. It intends to conduct three more outbound business-matching activities in France, United Arab Emirates, and Japan within the year.