Monday, 15 June 2009

Philippine export industry seen to recover this year

EDU LOPEZ
Manila Bulletin
http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/206866/export-industry-seen-recover-year

The Philippine Exporters Confederation is optimistic that the country's export industry would post a positive growth this year and is expected to recover from the impact of the global financial crisis.

Philexport president Sergio Ortiz-Luis has expressed this optimism amid the -3.6 percent drop in export revenues in April 2009 reaching $2.8 billion from previous month’s $2.9 billion.

The Export Development Council (EDC) forecasts total exports to contract -8 percent this year, with merchandise exports projected to reach -16 percent.

The decline in this year’s overall growth projection from earlier -2 percent has been attributed mainly to lower revenues of crisis-hit electronics sector, which accounts for around 60 percent of total exports.

However, despite the 3.9 percent improvement in sales of electronic products in April this year over the previous month, government data indicated that total exports during the month were lower compared to March figure as other major export products --garments and machinery and transport equipment posted considerable declines.

All major exports suffered double-digit retreat except tuna. But Ortiz-Luis said the services sector will bring up total export sales this year, with its revenues seen to grow by 27 percent.

“At the moment, the growth drivers are agriculture and services, particularly business process outsourcing. Food exports remain robust this year especially marine products.”

The -8 percent is how we think we will perform this year). It may improve but it can go either way, he said. Ortiz-Luis is also confident that 2010 might be a positive year for the export sector as positive growth is expected by year end.

The EDC’s -8 percent exports growth projection for this year is higher than the -15 to -13 percent set by the Development Budget Coordination Committee taking into account the external economic environment.

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