Local market offsets lull in exports

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    Some exporters have been tapping the local market and penetrating new overseas markets to deal with the decline in sales for a decade following the global financial crisis.

    Romeo Balderrama, president of Philippine Homestyle and Holiday Decor Association Inc., said earnings generated from trade shows, are “not enough” to maintain business operations.

    Balderrama noted that some of their buyers also closed down sometime in 2008 and 2009.

    “During those times, what offset the decline was the resurgence of the local industry. There were many condominiums being built, “ he said.

    Balderrama said participating in trade fairs will help the industry gain more local and foreign buyers.

    He thus maintained an optimistic outlook about the business as local market remained “okay”.

    Balderrama said the United States is still the biggest overseas market for holiday decor comprising 86 percent, while some European countries cornering the remaining 14 percent.

    Eduardo Zuluaga, national president of Chamber of Furniture Industries of the Philippines Inc., said it is difficult for industries to export local products, including furniture products and gifts and housewares due to changes in the market landscape.

    “Margins have significantly declined and many in our industry, they look somewhere else.

    The local market is very strong so (we just tap the) local (market). (But ) we need to look for new markets,” Zuluaga said.

    He said the new market is in Asia, adding of the 7.4 billion people in the world, 5.4 billion are Asians.