Gift, decor makers see local sales doublingBy Riza T. Olchondra
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Gift and holiday decor manufacturers expect revenue from local sales to double this year, which could offset the lack of growth in exports.
Nora Halili Lao, Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. trustee for the holiday decor and giftwares sector, said over the weekend that manufacturers were anticipating higher local demand in the run-up to the May elections.
Lao said the demand for corporate gifts such as bags, caps, mugs, umbrellas and shopping bags usually surges before elections.
“Poll-related spending will boost our sector. We target a good market,” she said.
Lao said the booming property market could also contribute to growth for makers of decorative items.
Condominiums, for instance, need furnishing items like candles, hanging lampshades and chimes, she said.
Industry players are thus keen to participate in more trade shows to capture more local buyers, she said.
The expected increase in revenue from the local market can help make up for what could be flat growth in exports amid persistent weakness in overseas markets, exporters said.
Lao noted that the sector exported “only $72 million” worth of gift and holiday decor in 2012, and this is not expected to grow this year.
The United States and Europe account for about 80 percent of the sector’s export sales. Other markets include Australia, Japan and Saudi Arabia.
“There is a marked slowdown in US imports. US trade remains weak following last year’s elections. This might carry over into 2013. Also, exports are expected to be flat because of Europe’s problems,” she said.
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