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DTI says export earnings to hit $100B by '16

Agreements considered key in push to boost trade

By Abigail L. Ho
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 22:01:00 12/27/2010

Filed Under: Earnings, International (Foreign)Trade, Agreement (general), ASEAN

MANILA, Philippines?The Department of Trade and Industry plans to double the country?s merchandise exports from this year?s $50 billion to at least $100 billion by 2016.

Authorities hope to accomplish this by boosting exporters? competitiveness and increasing their use of existing free-trade agreements.

According to Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo, once exporters have been properly equipped to compete in the global arena and get to learn of the benefits of FTAs, the country will stand a good chance of attaining that export target.

?We see positive signs of growth as our exports level up with value-added products, and the business sector, together with the government, steps up strategies to boost our competitiveness in the international market,? Domingo said in a recent statement.

?We need to put our efforts in areas where we can be competitive. In this day when borders are falling among nations, we need to explore new growth industries with potential to achieve what we did for (business process outsourcing) and call centers.?

The DTI is urging exporters to utilize the country?s effective FTAs, including those with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Australia, New Zealand, China, Korea and the Philippines-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement.

?These FTAs are strategic tools or pathways for growth and competitiveness. Not only do these open markets for our goods and services, but they also force us, as a people, to take a hard look at our economic structures and implement much-needed reforms to put our economy in step with the global environment,? Trade Undersecretary Adrian Cristobal Jr. said.

At the recent National Exporters Week, around 150 exporters, most of them locators at economic zones in the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) area, participated in information sessions on how to take advantage of zero tariffs and other concessions in economies with which the country had FTAs.

Eduardo Nicolas III, Region 4 director of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the FTAs would be a huge help for Calabarzon in attaining its goal of becoming an economic hub by 2030.

?For big industries, knowing the benefits of FTAs will bolster trade and provide opportunities to make their products more competitive,? Nicolas said. ?The FTAs also give small companies a venue to upgrade their business and graduate into big enterprises.?

Composed of 130 municipalities with a population of more than 11.7 million, Calabarzon has a strong manufacturing and export industry, accounting for 36 percent of all manufacturing ecozones in the country. Cavite, Laguna and Batangas host industrial parks with a wide range of locators that serve both domestic and overseas markets.



Copyright 2014 Philippine Daily Inquirer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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