DTI still optimistic on PH exports




The Manila Times


Business Times

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is still optimistic on Philippine exports even if the World Trade Organization (WTO) projected that the global trade of goods will grow by just 1 percent in 2023. For 2022, the WTO has pegged global trade of goods growing by 3.5 percent. Trade Undersecretary for Industry Development and Trade Policy Group Cerefino Rodolfo said he is still optimistic for the country’s export industry despite the latest WTO projection for global trade of goods. “This will definitely affect our export sector but right now, we are banking on their resiliency as our country is always prone to global shocks,” he said. “They have endured so much during the pandemic and even right now in the post-pandemic period. But in the first months of 2022, they have already surpassed their pre-pandemic levels, particularly those in the electronics sector and food sector.” For his part, Dan Lachica, Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Inc. president, said he is still bullish on Philippine electronic exports given the rise of technology globally. “As far as the WTO report goes, they are the experts as far as the economy is concerned. But our industry plays in the global market, which is now mostly driven by technology,” Lachica said. “In fact, that demand is what saved us during the pandemic.” Philippine exports from January to July this year reached $44.74 billion, or a 4.7-percent increase from the $42.46 billion logged in the same period last year. Electronic exports reached $26.51 billion in January to July, or a 2 percent improvement over the $25.99 billion logged in the same period in 2021. The WTO report said that in the case of Europe, high energy prices resulting from the Russia-Ukraine conflict will squeeze household spending and increase manufacturing costs. In the United States, the monetary policy tightening of the Federal Reserve will affect spending in areas where interest rates count. China is also struggling with Covid-19 outbreaks and production disruptions coupled with weak external demand. This, as several developing countries also face food insecurity and debt problems as import prices for fuels, food and fertilizers have risen because of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. “Overall, energy prices jumped 78 percent year on year in August, according to the forecast. Food prices increased 11 percent, grain prices were up 15 percent and fertilizer [at] 60 percent,” the report said.