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Philippines exporters urge reforms to hit $100-B target earlyWednesday, June 28, 2017 > 09:06:07
Exporters are calling on both the public and private sector to implement reforms necessary to help boost exports as they set their sights on achieving an ambitious $100-billion revenue target over the medium term.
Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (Philexport) president Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. said there is a need for sustained efforts on easing government regulations and strengthening market intelligence gathering with the help of the private sector to curb downside risks to export growth.
Weak global demand has derailed the Philippines’ rosy export growth plan, with the country deciding last year to push back its target of breaching the $100-billion export revenue mark by three years or until 2020.
“We also need to maximize the benefits of trade agreements and economic groupings, especially with our Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) neighbors,” Ortiz-Luis said.
Ortiz-Luis said there is a need for exporters to step up efforts to boost ties with ASEAN neighbors and adopt measures toward product diversification to achieve the country’s $100-billion export revenue goal.
He said commodities exported to ASEAN member countries comprised only 16 percent of the total exports in April.
East Asia and the European Union remained the top destinations of Philippine products, accounting for 62.3 percent of total export receipts.
East Asia includes China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea and Taiwan.
The export group chief also pointed out that complementing market access programs are measures toward product diversification.
“Within this context, we have increasingly put emphasis and resources on innovation and technology as the key to make inroads in this area,” he said.
Electronics remained as the country’s top export in April, comprising 50.9 percent of the total export revenue.
Top export earners during the month also included machinery and transport equipment, ignition wiring set and other wiring sets used in vehicles, aircrafts and ships, and chemicals.
Ortiz-Luis said exporters expect to sustain and strengthen the performance of mineral products, coconut oil, machinery and transport equipment, metal components, electronic products and chemicals.
The Philippines was originally eyeing to reach the $100-billion milestone next year under the original Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) 2015 to 2017, but successive setbacks in the country’s export growth behind sluggish global trade has prompted government and export group officials to scale down and push back targets.
Trade Undersecretary Nora Terrado earlier said the target has been moved to 2020.
Philexport said stakeholders are developing the new PEDP to raise the industry performance bar to $100 billion over the medium term.
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