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Sustained export surge seen

The Department of Trade and Industry is bullish that the country’s export performance will surpass, if not maintain its growth in 2018.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez told reporters the increase in investments on manufacturing for exports of goods and services, growing factory capacity, and improving environment of the global market would buoy the country’s export revenues next year.

Lopez said the agency is bullish on exports next year with the commitments from China and Russia to source products from the Philippines, particularly agricultural goods.

“Our production should be able to supply the demand from these markets,” he said.

He added that the country is also maximizing the Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus granted by the European Union in 2014.

Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data showed that Philippine exports to the EU in the first 10 months of the year rose 33.5 percent to USD7.8 billion from USD5.9 billion in 2016.

In a previous interview, the Trade chief also said that the country’s utilization rate of the EU GSP+ improved to 70.87 percent in 2016 from 68.3 percent in 2015.
    
Lopez said that with the expansion of the Generalized System of Preferences granted by the United States, wherein Philippine-made travel goods can also enter the US market duty-free, this would boost the country’s export performance next year.
    
“We are building more on agriculture, furniture, garments, travel goods, and other design-oriented exports,” he said, adding that the Philippines is also looking for opportunities in other markets.
    
The country’s exports from January to October this year grew 11.7 percent to USD53.1 billion from USD47.5 percent in the same period last year.
    
Under the Philippine Exports Development Plan  2017-2022, the country targets USD122 billion to USD131 billion revenues on exports of goods and services by the end of the Duterte administration.