EDC lowers 2016 export target to $100B
The Export Development Council (EDC), which is composed of representatives from the government and private sector, has finally scaled down exports target to $100-billion by 2016 from the original $120 billion exports goal.
Trade and Industry Undersecretary Ponciano Manalo Jr. has announced in a speech during the recent Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (Philexport) general membership meeting that EDC has proposed for a lower exports target in the draft three-year Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP).
The proposed lower exports target is an admission of the difficulty of the private sector to hit the original target in light of the continuing soft market for electronics, the country’s single largest export product.
“The PEDP will transform the Philippines into an exporting nation that will fuel growth of our SMEs (small and medium enterprises), creating more jobs and competitive products that the Philippines can offer,” Manalo added.
The PEDP 2014-2016 is the export-sector component of the Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016, the government’s primary economic and social development program. It outlines the export targets and product and market strategies to boost export growth within the three-year period in consideration of the problems affecting local and international markets.
“As a main trade policy document, the PEDP underscores strategies consistent with the AEC (ASEAN Economic Community), an important one of which is the unified international trade strategy framework, with industry competitiveness as its foundation. The goal is to capacitate the export sector so that it can maximize its participation in the global value chain,” Manalo said.
He also noted that the backdrop against which the 2014-2016 PEDP is proposed includes creating comprehensive packages of export support and promotion programs for select sectors defined in the industry roadmaps recently developed; removing unnecessary regulatory impediments to movements of goods; upgrading the quality and standards of exports through DTI programs such as the Shared Service Facility, Regional Interactive Platform for Phil Exporters; innovation, product development and design support through the Design Center of the Philippines, Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions and the Bureau of Domestic Trade Promotion; improving exporters’ access to financing through the Small Business Corporation and Philippine Export-Import Credit Agency (PhilExim); and advocating for improved market access through Generalized System of Preferences Plus, Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP), and other bilateral Free Trade Agreements.
“With the upcoming ASEAN integration in 2015, Philippine products will need to be more competitive and accessible. The export industry must participate in high-value activities and become more diversified and sophisticated,” Manalo said.
“The DTI, working the Export Development Council Executive Committee and PHILEXPORT, advocates support of all government agencies to help ensure that our exports are facilitated while the goals of inclusive growth and job generation are achieved,” Manalo said.
Based on the preliminary report of the Philippine Statistics Authority, merchandise exports grew 8.3 percent year-to-date (YTD) from $27.5 billion posted in the first semester of 2013 to $29.8 billion in the same period in 2014. Philippine exports of electronic products increased by 4.7 percent YTD, while non-electronic products increased at more than double rate at 10.8 percent for the first semester of the year.
In addition, Japan, with 22.4 percent share of total exports, remained the top market of Philippine export merchandise in the first half of 2014, posting a remarkable double-digit growth of 20.4 percent YTD. The combined markets of China and Hong Kong SAR with 21.5 percent share of cumulative exports, was the second biggest export destination of Philippine goods in the first semester of 2014, growing by a double-digit rate of 20.7 percent YTD. The US ranked third among the top export markets of the Philippines from January to June 2014, accounting for 14 percent of total Philippine merchandise exports, and posting a 4.7 percent YTD growth.