Electronic products remained to be the country’s top exports as the sector grew by 11.6% from US$2.359 billion in 2015 to US$ 2.633 billion this year accounting for 53.7% of the total export revenues in August 2016, according to the recent report issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
Among the electronic products, semiconductors continued to have the biggest share with total of 39% that posted an increase of 11.2% from US$1.719 billion in August 2015 to US$1.912 billion in August 2016.
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) noted that electronic products are one of the identified key exports of the Philippines under the Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) 2015-2017 along with processed food and beverage, coconut oil, motor vehicle parts and computer and information services such as the information technology and business process management (IT-BPM).
“As part of our strategy in the PEDP, we will continue to provide comprehensive support services to our key and emerging exports sectors while we continue to strengthen our market presence and seek new trading partners,” said DTI Export Marketing Bureau Director Senen M. Perlada.
Exports of other mineral products also grew with total sales of US$120.16 million.
Meanwhile, exports to East Asia such as Hong Kong, China and Taiwan grew by 22.4%, 2.2%, and 19.72%, respectively. According to PSA, a large portion of the country’s merchandise went to countries in East Asia, accounting for 52.2% share of the total exports valued at US$2.560 billion which reflected a 2.5% increase from US$2.497 billion of August 2015.
Exports to some parts of Europe also grew such as France and Switzerland which reflected double-digit growth rates, 78.08% and 68.55%, respectively.
“Our traditional markets are there such as Japan and USA as our top export destination. But we are urging and encouraging exporters to maximize our FTAs (free trade agreements) with other countries,” added Perlada.
DTI noted that at present, Philippines, as part of the Association of South East Asian Nation (ASEAN) has existing FTAs with other Asian countries such as Japan, China, Korea, Australia and New Zealand, and India, that entrepreneurs, especially exporters, can maximize. Support services and assistance are all available with the Department’s Export Marketing Bureau office (DTI-EMB).
DTI also plans to increase its presence abroad by opening up new trade posts in strategic cities. Recently, it opened its first Philippine Trade and Investment Center in South America, in the city of Mexico and expecting to open another center in Toronto, Canada before the end of 2016.
Plans of expanding and hiring of more trade representatives abroad are also at hand in order to seek new markets, strengthen the country’s economic presence abroad, and further assist Philippine micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
PSA reported that for August 2016, total Philippine exports sales amounted to US$4.904 billion from US$ 5.128 billion in the same period last year.
The overall decline was brought by seven major commodities out of the top ten export commodities for the month which include machinery and transport equipment (-52.5%); metal components (-25.9%); chemicals (-16.2%); articles of apparel and clothing accessories (-11.3%); other manufactures (-9.3%); woodcrafts and furniture (-8.8%); and coconut oil (-6.9%).