Exports targets under review

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    The Philippines is still hopeful it will be able to hit the low-end of its export target in 2022 of $122 billion given the challenges brought by the new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

    Undersecretary Abdulgani Macatoman of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said in his opening remarks at the National Export Congress (NEC) 2020, exports stakeholders are reviewing and assessing the strategies, indicators and export targets set under the Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) “to see if such are still doable or not.”

    The PEDP of 2018-2022 sets a range of $122 billion to $130 billion in exports both for merchandise and services to be led by electronics , the information technology-business process management, processed food and beverages and tourism and travel-related services.

    Macatoman urged the export sector to help the government in crafting policy reforms that will not only improve and boost the performance of the country’s export but to generate the much-needed revenues for the economy and jobs.

    In the same event, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez noted the gradual recovery of exports even as he urged exporters to pivot and upgrade their business models, diversify and produce innovative products to not only to ensure their businesses to survive, but also to keep up with the pace of the technological revolution.

    “For the exporters, having innovative products mean more export revenues,” said Lopez.

    Following the strong pick-up in international merchandise trade since June, merchandise exports rebounded strongly in September.

    Exports registered a 2.2 percent increase from the revised double-digit negative growth rate of 12.8 percent in the previous month.

    Lopez said this was the first time the growth rate crossed the positive territory since the onset of COVID-19 in March.

    There was positive year-on-year exports to our 7 out of the top 10 major export destinations. These are: Thailand (21.9 percent): the combined markets of China and Hong Kong (17.6 percent); Singapore (9.1 percent); Germany (7.7 percent); the Netherlands and Taiwan (3 percent each); and Japan (0.7 percent).

    This eased the year-to-date growth rate to negative 13.8 percent from negative 16.6 percent posted in the first eight months of 2020.