The government is optimistic that growth in exports would be maintained in 2018 or even surpass this year’s level, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said.
Lopez told reporters that he was targeting an increase of 12 percent to 15 percent next year and said the rise in exports would mirror that of the manufacturing sector.
Noting that the “global market is also picking up,” Lopez said that “when you have a world demand and you have the production capacity, then you will be able to supply the requirements.”
His statement came after the Philippine Statistics Authority reported that the country’s merchandise exports grew by 11.68 percent in the first 10 months of the year.
Total export sales during the period reached $53.11 billion, compared to last year’s $47.55 billion.
From January to October, the value of merchandise exports was shared by electronics and non-electronics at 50.78 percent and 49.22 percent, respectively.
Japan is still the top export destination for October, with $871.36 million in export receipts and a 16.2-percent share in total exports.
The combined markets of China and Hong Kong are the leading export destination in the 10-month period. Shipments to these markets, with a 24.31-percent share, increased by 22.10 percent in value.
The government expects a 6.5-percent to 7.5-percent growth in exports this year, which would translate to between $79.7 billion and $80.4 billion.
According to Lopez, China and Russia earlier committed to buy agriculture products from the Philippines.
“The orders of China and Russia will hopefully come in [next year]. We are also expecting more from other markets. We are building more on [the]agriculture industry, higher-value exports of agri products, biotechnology, furniture and garments, and” other promising sectors, he said.
Under the Philippine Development Plan, the government aims to generate $122 billion to $131 billion from exports when President Duterte finishes his term in 2022.