strong first semester performance – Lopez; total exports up by 14%,
reaches USD 31 billion
August 24, 2017
MAKATI CITY —
Philippine (PH) exports weathered a slowdown in external demand in
June to register a strong first semester performance, the country’s
trade chief said.
“We always ensure that
exports are both resilient and diversified in terms of products and
markets,” Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon
Total merchandise exports
for the period January to June 2017 stood at USD 31.04 billion,
expanding by 14% over the USD 27.33 billion posted during the same
period in 2016.
Said expansion is seen
almost among all the country’s major export markets, with the
People’s Republic of China (including Hongkong SAR) as the country’s
top export destination, followed by Japan and the United States
(US), according to him.
non-electronics show off
Preliminary data from the
Philippine Statistics Authority showed that the 15% growth of
Non-electronics exports outpaced the 12.05% rise in Electronics,
accounting for almost equally at 50.1% and 49.9%, respectively, of
total merchandise exports.
“The stronger performance
of Non-Electronics products vis-à-vis Electronics reflects DTI’s
efforts to diversify merchandise exports and improve market mix,”
Sec. Lopez added.
For the first semester of
2017, receipts of the following non-electronics increased: Mineral
products (81%), Chemicals (11%), Coconut (78%), Footwear (70%),
Furniture & Fixtures (43%), Processed Food & Beverages (29%),
Machinery & Transport Equipment (24%), Garments (23%), Travel Goods
and Handbags (8%), and Iron and Steel (4%).
DTI Undersecretary and
Board of Investments (BOI) Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo confirmed
that non-electronics have been accounting for a bigger share of
total exports from an average of 40% in 2006-2010 to a 54% average
“DTI has been partnering
with relevant agencies, industry associations as well as specific
exporters in improving PH leadership in certain sectors such as in
activated carbon, oleochemicals, bananas, pineapples, tuna, and
carrageenan/seaweeds and other algae, where assistance to improve
quality and quantity of supply is top-most of the agenda,” said Usec.
DTI also creates more
conducive exporting environment for sectors that have crossed or is
close to crossing the USD 1 billion value of exports such as travel
goods, handbags, footwear and apparel, aircraft parts, coconut,
transport services, construction materials such as builders’ joinery
and carpentry of wood including wood panels.
In terms of PH markets,
PH’s expansion in exports can be seen in almost all of PH’s export
partners, with PROC (including Hongkong SAR) being top export
destination, followed by Japan, the United States (US), Singapore,
Korea, Thailand, Germany, The Netherlands and Taiwan. PH shipments
to almost all these country destinations increased.
According to Usec.
Rodolfo, it is worth noting that currently, ASEAN and East Asian
neighbors accounted for about 63% of total PH exports, while the US
and the European Union (EU) accounted almost equally for 14.7% and
14.9%, respectively, as a result of our pursuit of active trade
relations due to opportunities resulting from ASEAN’s free trade
agreements with China, Korea, Australia and India.
“We have been seeing in
recent years the gradual shift in market distribution leading to a
balance in market diversity,” said Sec. Lopez.
While the US continues to
be one of PH’s top export destinations, its share to PH total
exports has declined from 8% in 2006-2010 to 6% in 2011-2016.
Stronger relations with PH neighbors made ASEAN a consistent market
for bulk of our products.
China, in recent years,
has also emerged as a consistent top market for PH export products,
validating PH’s pursuit of an independent foreign policy as the
country opens up to new trade partners and finds new markets and new
value chain linkages for trade and investments. China accounted for
the fastest growth rate at 34%.
“Recent data also showed
exports to EU posted strong growth at about 36% due to greater
number of utilization of Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+)
trade privileges where over 6,000 product lines have 0% tariff
duty,” said Sec. Lopez.
The trade chief added that
the immense goodwill shown by President Rodrigo Duterte to other
nations has resulted to re-strengthened ties not only with China but
also with the Middle East. The benefits of special trade
arrangements with EU also led to faster export growth in many
accounted for 72% share of total electronics exports and 36% share
of total PH exports, expanded by 12%, driving the growth in
electronics. The share of electronics sector to total merchandise
exports has been reduced from an average high of 60% in 2006-2010 to
46% average for 2011-2016.
The strong global growth
in 2017, particularly the surge of global electronics demand, augurs
well with the implementation of the regional industrialization plan
of the CALABARZON area, which will diversify electronics exports
especially in the production of auto electronics parts and
components and business expansion towards merging manufacturing with
IT through engineering services outsourcing and other areas.
Electronics exports are
concentrated in the CALABARZON area, specifically in Laguna, where
sales reached almost USD 7 billion for a remarkable growth rate of
146%, and in Cavite, with exports valued at USD 3 billion for a 72%
growth. Together, Laguna and Cavite accounted for almost 60% of
total electronics exports.
“We are off to a good
first semester. The second semester should see us further raising
our game to boost PH exports for a bigger share of the global
market,” Sec. Lopez concluded.